The Divorce Process

     The first step in getting a divorce is to file a petition for divorce with the courts, for which the district clerk charges a filing fee of approximately $267. The person who files a divorce petition is known as the "Petitioner" and the other spouse is the "Respondent." In Texas, to be granted a divorce, it is not necessary to prove that one of the parties was at fault. The divorce can be granted upon testimony that the marriage has become insupportable due to an irreconcilable conflict of personalities. Under Texas law, there is a waiting period of 60 days before the court can grant a divorce.

     Once the petition is filed, the next step is a required notification process whereby a constable or other authorized person delivers a copy of the petition to the other spouse. The constable’s office charges a service fee of approximately $65. The constable’s service may not be necessary if the other spouse voluntarily signs a notarized waiver of citation.

     When the court grants a divorce, the judge signs a final decree terminating the marriage and dividing property. If children are involved, the decree also appoints conservators of the children, awards visitation rights and orders payment of child support. Divorce lawsuits become "contested" if the parties do not agree on the terms and wording of the final decree.