You can file for divorce in Texas if you or your spouse has lived:
in Texas for at least the last 6 months, and
in the county where you file for divorce for at least the last 90 days.
When you file for divorce, you must usually pay a “filing fee.” If you need to have your spouse served, you must also pay an “issuance fee” and a “service fee.” These fees vary by county. Contact the district clerk’s office in the county where you plan to file for divorce to learn the fees.
If you don’t have enough money to pay the fees, you can ask a judge to waive the fees by completing and filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs
In almost all cases, you must wait at least 60 days before you can finish your divorce.
When counting the 60 days, find the day you filed your Original Petition for Divorce on a calendar, and then count out 60 more days (including weekends and holidays). If the 60th day falls on a weekend or holiday, go to the next business day. Note: When counting the 60 day waiting period, don’t count the day you filed your Original Petition for Divorce. Day 1 is the next day.
There are only two exceptions to the 60-day waiting period.
1) If your spouse has been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a crime involving family violence against you or a member of your household, the 60-day waiting period is waived.
2) If you have an active protective order or an active magistrate’s order for emergency protection against your spouse because of family violence during your marriage, the 60-day waiting period is waived.
Note: You can always wait longer than 60 days, but your divorce cannot be finished in fewer than 60 days unless one of these exceptions applies.
You do not have to have a lawyer to file or respond to a divorce case. However, divorce cases can be complicated and your rights as a parent, your property and your money may be at risk.
It’s a good idea to talk with a family law lawyer about your particular situation. Family law lawyers specialize in cases involving families, like divorce. A family law lawyer can explain your rights and options.
It’s really important to talk with a family law lawyer if any of the following are true.
- You are afraid for your or your children’s safety.
- Your case is contested.
- Your spouse has a lawyer.
- You or your spouse have a house, retirement, business, other valuable property or a lot of debt.
- You need spousal maintenance (alimony).
- You and your spouse have a child with a disability.
- You or your spouse have an ongoing bankruptcy or are planning to file for bankruptcy.
- You are in a same sex-marriage and you and your spouse have a child but there is no adoption or other court order stating that you are both legal parents