Do you really need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce in Texas? Well, technically, you don’t absolutely need one. There are ways to work through the process by yourself, as long as you and your spouse are in full agreement about how you want to handle every single aspect of your divorce.
But is it wise to do it all by yourself? That is debatable, especially if there are retirement plans, investments, real properties, debts, spousal support issues, or child support and custody issues. The reason for getting an experienced family law attorney even for an uncontested divorce is that there are lots of details that have to be handled just right, and your lawyer will know how to do all of that and help you along the way.
The Good News About Uncontested Divorces
Fortunately, there is a lot of good news too. If your divorce is truly uncontested and you are working through the entire process amicably, you can work with just one lawyer, together. And since there won’t be any conflict involving heated negotiations back and forth, you’ll save a lot of money… as well as time.
Mostly, you’ll just run everything by your lawyer, have them check your forms and agreements, and ask any questions you may have. They may also give you advice on deadlines and on how to handle your meeting with the judge so that there are no mistakes and no delays.
At the very least, talk to an experienced divorce lawyer about your situation to make sure you are in good shape and that you’ll know if there are any issues where you would need additional help. Just call or email to arrange a free case evaluation.
How an Uncontested Divorce Works in Texas
So how exactly does an uncontested divorce in Texas work?
First of all, Texas is a no-fault state when it comes to getting a divorce. This means it is not necessary that someone is to blame for the breakup of the marriage. All you have to prove is that you want to end your marriage and that there is no chance for reconciliation. This will help you avoid a lot of potential conflict and will make the process run much more smoothly.
You also have to meet the requirements for residency. This means that you must have resided in Texas for at least six months and in the county where you plan to file for divorce for at least 90 days.
Then you file the required paperwork, as well as a waiver where the other party states they don’t need to be served, and fill in a final decree of divorce form. You as well as your spouse will have to sign in order for your divorce to be uncontested. If either party refuses to sign, that would make your divorce contested.
Then you wait… for 60 days. That’s the required waiting period in Texas, and it starts the day after you’ve filed your paperwork. The only way to have the waiting period waived is in a situation that involves family violence or abuse, which would actually turn your divorce into a contested divorce.
Finally, you go to court with all your required paperwork, where the judge will ask you some questions, and, if all goes well, the judge will sign your final divorce decree. Then you file your signed decree with the court clerk, and you are successfully divorced.
When Will You Need a Lawyer for Your Divorce?
While getting the advice and guidance of a lawyer is always a good idea, you absolutely need a lawyer in certain situations, especially if your divorce turns into a contested divorce.
This includes situations where your spouse has hired a lawyer or plans to contest your divorce, or when you’re concerned about your own safety or the safety of your children
You’ll also need a lawyer if you and your spouse own retirement accounts or real estate, a business, other types of valuable property, or if there are significant debts. In addition, you need help from an experienced family law attorney if you need spousal support, if there are issues with child support or visitation rights, and if there are questions about hidden assets.
You also need a lawyer if you and your spouse are in the middle of a bankruptcy or are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, or if you are possibly dealing with foreclosure.
In case you are wondering, even if your situation doesn’t involve any of the above, it might be a good idea to hire a lawyer just for the purpose of getting advice and for helping you with the paperwork. This is generally called limited scope representation.
What You Should Do
So what should you do? Start the process by going over your situation to find out whether there is the potential of conflict. If you believe your divorce will be truly uncontested, talk to an experienced family law or divorce attorney anyway, just for a free case evaluation.
Just call or email us and we will be happy to help you, whether it’s in a limited scope capacity or by providing more support. We want to make sure you get through your divorce successfully and can start your new life on a positive note.