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The Process of Petitioning for Divorce in Texas

Posted on in Divorce

ReflectionDeciding to file for divorce can be arduous and stressful.  Occasionally that is because the filer is not aware of how the process works.  First, when the decision is made to initiate a divorce, there are certain requirements that need to be met.  For example, there are residency requirements in Texas.  Either spouse must live in the state for at least six months before filing.  Also, either spouse must have lived in the county where the suit is filed for the past 90 days.

After meeting with an attorney and discussing the divorce, that attorney will file an Original Petition for Divorce with the District Clerk of your county.  The spouse who initiates the divorce proceedings is called the petitioner and the other spouse is called the respondent.  The petition will list the grounds for divorce, children from the marriage, any protective orders existing against either spouse as well as a list of separate property not to be considered in the division of marital property.

The petition initiates the divorce proceedings in court, but does not notify the other spouse.  That is accomplished by a citation that is issued at the time the petition is filed.  A citation includes the case number, information about the court, addresses and names of the petitioner and respondent and the date when the citation was issued.   It also sets a deadline for the respondent to answer the lawsuit without a judgment being made by the court.

The citation can be served in a variety of different ways.  The first is that the citation be hand delivered to the respondent by a sheriff, constable or process server.  The respondent can also be served by certified mail if they are out of state.  If the respondent cannot be located, then a notice can be published in a newspaper or other publication.  The easiest way to complete this process is if the respondent is a part of the process and will sign a waiver that they do not need to be served with a citation.

The process is not as scary as it seems but the petition is only the beginning of the divorce process.  That is why it is necessary to have the assistance of a legal professional.  Talking to a family law practitioner before filing can clear up even more questions that you might have.  Contact a skilled divorce attorney in Austin today.

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