Qualification & Filing Process Explained
Did you know that you can file for divorce online in Texas? An uncontested (aka amicable or agreed) divorce should be easy and affordable. That’s why we started DIY Divorce Online. Fill out the form below to find out if you qualify in less than five minutes.
This is the less expensive and faster way to handle your family law case. Have your documents prepared by an attorney who is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, at a price lower than an initial consultation fee!
Here, you can receive your paperwork ready to go to the Courthouse – no blanks to fill in or boxes to check. It’s all done when you get your documents.
Get Prequalified to File Online
Create an account and download the easy to understand documents accessible from your user portal.
The following filing options can be add-on services bundled into your divorce package.
- Child Custody
- Modify Custody
- Change Visitation
- Update Child Support
- Change Last Name
Who Can Get Divorced Online?
It’s cheaper, simpler, faster, and more convenient to get divorced online without a lawyer. Our online divorce service is intended for those who have uncontested matters. An uncontested lawsuit is one in which both parties are agreeing on the outcome. You must both agree to a no-fault, no-contest divorce, and be willing to compromise on other terms.
For instance in an uncontested divorce both spouses are agreeing on the division of property and debt, custody, visitation, child support, and alimony. If you want to qualify for 100% virtual divorce you must agree on all of these terms.
Fast, Easy Divorce
We are here to save you time and money. We will send you ready-to-file documents that you can be sure are correct. Traditional divorce means filling out forms and taking time off of work to go back to court two or three times, only to be told again and again that you haven’t done it right.
Instead we deliver a professional finished product and step-by-step instructions telling you exactly what to do and when. And since this is only for uncontested matters, we will help you avoid the cost of having the other party served.
The easy-to-follow instructions tell you where, how, and when to file, what the other spouse or parent will need to do, and what to say to the Judge.
Why File for Divorce Online?
Let’s face it, it’s always best to have the advice of an attorney. The Court staff is not able to give you legal guidance, help you fill out forms, or answer your questions about what to do. They are prohibited from doing those things.
DIY Divorce Online is the next best thing. Your documents will arrive at you in ready-to-file form. All you have to do is follow the simple instructions on filing and finishing your lawsuit and you’ll be done.
Online Divorce Steps
- Fill out our online questionnaire. It is easy to follow and you probably already know the required information. Find out if you qualify to file online in 5 minutes or less.
- We prepare your divorce petition. We will take the information you give us and prepare an Original Petition for Divorce.
- We send you your divorce papers with instructions. We will send you the Original Petition for Divorce, along with simple instructions about how to file it.
- We prepare your final divorce decree. Using the information you have given us about the property and debts each party will be getting and about the custody, visitation, and support provisions you want to be included in your final paperwork, we will prepare the Final Decree of Divorce.
- You review the final decree. You and your spouse may take as much time as you need to go over the Final Decree of Divorce. If there are changes, we will make them and send you a final draft of your Decree.
- We send you a waiver for your spouse to sign. Along with the final draft of the Decree, we will send you a Waiver of Citation, along with instructions about what to do with it. This is a 2-page document that your spouse will sign and have notarized. It is an acknowledgment that your spouse knows about the divorce. By signing and filing the Waiver of Citation, your spouse will not need to be served, which saves you the cost of service.
- Submit your Final Divorce Decree after a 60-day waiting period. After the 60-day waiting period is over, you will receive step-by-step instructions for finalizing your divorce, which is called “proving up”. Those instructions will include where to go, the choices for the days and times you may go, who to talk to when you arrive at the Court, what to say when you are before the Judge and what to do after the Court signs your Final Decree of Divorce. (see below for more information about the waiting period)
What You Should Know Before Starting the DIY Divorce Online Process
Below are things you should know about before you begin the divorce process in Texas. They will help explain how the process works and why.
90-Day Texas Residency
Before you file a Divorce, either you or your spouse must have lived in the State of Texas for at least six months and lived in the county where you will be filing for at least 90 days.
Mandatory 60-Day Waiting Period
After the Original Petition for Divorce is filed, there is a statutory 60-day waiting period. The purpose of the statute is to promote marriage by imposing a cooling-off period to give the parties time to re-think the decision to divorce. That means the Court cannot grant your divorce for at least 60 days after the Original Petition for Divorce is filed.
30-Day Marriage Restriction
After you are divorced, you cannot marry someone else for at least thirty days. However, if you want to get re-married in less than thirty days, we will include in your documents a request to waive the thirty-day waiting period. We will also send you an extra Order for the Judge to sign that will waive the 30-day waiting period and include in your instructions exactly what to say to the Judge.
Please keep in mind that all Judges are different and granting the waiver of the 30-day stay is discretionary. Although judges will often waive the waiting period, there is no guarantee of it.
Filing for Divorce Electronically
The Original Petition for Divorce is filed in the District or County Clerk’s office, depending on which county it is filed in. Texas is moving toward filing matters entirely on-line. Not every county requires e-filing county yet, but many do and each County has different procedures. If your divorce will be in a county that requires e-filing, we will include instructions for filing in that county.
If one of the spouses is pregnant, a divorce may be filed, but it may not be finished until that child is born. A child is not legally under the jurisdiction of the Court until he or she is born and a judge cannot make orders regarding a child until that child is before the Court.
Agreed Property Division
The individualized documents you will receive can divide personal property, houses, cars, bank accounts, pets, and even retirement accounts. They will also divide debts. Your original questionnaire will include the property division you and your spouse have agreed to. It can be as simple as each spouse taking the assets and debts in their possession, in their control, and in their name. It can also be as detailed as you wish. The Decree will include the property division which you and your spouse have decided you want. Please see Property Division for a deeper explanation of marital property in the state of Texas.
Your Order will also include provisions for children if they are the subject of the suit. Just as it is with the property division, we will draft your decree to reflect what you and your spouse have decided is in your children’s best interest.
Free Last Name Change
If one of the parties wants to change their name, just let us know. It’s all part of the service and there is no extra charge.
Final Decrees Take 2 Weeks
It generally takes 1 to 2 business days to prepare your Original Petition for Divorce and Waiver of Citation. A Final Decree of Divorce is generally a longer document and is more customized. Therefore, it might take as long as two weeks to complete.
Dividing Retirement Savings
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO’s) are required if you are dividing certain types of retirement accounts. A QDRO is a separate Order which directs a plan administrator to segregate a retirement account. Once completed, two accounts will exist; one for the husband and one for the wife. Every plan administrator has their own form that they require for a QDRO.
Consequently, these Orders are technical and must be exact. Our service does not include the preparation of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, but if your property division requires one, we can put you in touch with an attorney who specializes only in QDRO’s. That makes them more efficient and less costly.
No Waiting Period for Annulment
The primary difference between a divorce and an annulment is that there is no 60-day waiting period to finalize an annulment. If there were children born of the marriage, the Final Order will have custody, visitation, and support provisions just as a Final Decree of Divorce would. Property acquired during the marriage, if comingled, will likely be divided as it would be in the event of a divorce.
There are only a few instances when a Court will grant an annulment: (1)spouse was fraudulently or forced to marry, (2) spouse was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, (3) spouse was younger than 18 years of age.