Divorce is often an emotional and messy situation. If you’re wondering, “how do I prepare for a divorce secretly,” there are many possible reasons for marital separation, some of which require you to fight it out in court. There are also instances in which you might want your divorce kept secret from your spouse. In these cases, preparing for your divorce in secret is a potential option. A qualified divorce attorney can help you navigate the complicated issue of preparing for your divorce without your spouse knowing.
There are many valid reasons for seeking a divorce without telling your spouse. They include:
- Domestic violence and abuse
- Financial insecurity
- Shame, embarrassment, rejection
In Texas, there are a number of clear legal grounds for divorce. You also have the right to obtain a divorce without the consent of your spouse. The acceptable grounds for divorce in Texas are:
- Felony criminal conviction
- Uncommon grounds, including alcohol or substance abuse, impotence, infertility, homosexuality (for married heterosexual partners)
- Cultural or religious differences
- Financial backing (a spouse refuses to financially support their spouse, even when they have the means to do so)
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you do not need a reason for filing a divorce, although you still have to explain to a court why you are asking for one. Common types of no-fault divorces include:
- Living apart
- Insupportability, meaning “discord or conflict of personalities [preventing any] reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”
- Confinement in a mental hospital/incurable mental disorder
- Double marriage, or bigamy, a crime punishable by up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine in Texas
- Certain restricted relationships, i.e., with minors or relatives
Judging by the list of potential grounds for divorce and the common reasons for no-fault divorce people can experience, you may decide to prepare for your divorce in secret. If that is the case, you will most likely want a skilled divorce attorney by your side, explaining the steps to you as you go.
Can I Get a Divorce Without My Spouse Knowing?
Whether you have reason to fear your spouse’s reaction to a divorce, you don’t know where your spouse is, or they are unfit or untrustworthy enough to confide in, you may feel compelled to file for divorce secretly. While preparations for divorce may begin secretly, your ex-spouse will eventually find out. Should they fail to respond to your official request for divorce, you may obtain a default divorce, i.e., one that accepts your initial request as it is without accounting for or acknowledging your spouse’s opinion.
Conversely, if your spouse agrees to the divorce filing, you will have an uncontested divorce.
Under Texas law, there is a 60-day “cooling-off” period following a divorce filing, prior to the official recognition of the divorce. This intends to encourage reflection and to avert rushing into something drastic and life-changing that you might regret later.
In the case of a missing spouse, you might file for divorce and have it approved without their knowledge. This can only happen if you have shown reasonable or due diligence in contacting them. In Texas, divorce filings are usually delivered in person, by hand, or by mail. However, in cases where the process server isn’t able to deliver your paperwork, substituted service allows you to serve your spouse the divorce documents by e-mail or social media.
Why Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Given the complexity of filing for a divorce, let alone the potential complications that could arise when you’re contemplating how do I prepare for divorce secretly, you will likely want to hire a seasoned divorce attorney to help guide you through this trying process. Lawyers at the Smith Family Law Firm in Austin, TX, know how delicate divorce cases are and can represent you in circumstances of child custody and support, various family law practices, and instances involving protective restraining orders.
Our firm knows what it takes to win and will always work diligently to ensure your divorce is as simple and hassle-free as possible. Our well-trained lawyers will integrate a wide range of legal knowledge and experience into our uniquely sophisticated approach to family law. We offer a free, in-depth legal consultation with a trusted lawyer prior to taking on your case. We believe in success and strive to provide the best, most honest service possible. Smith Family Law is here to represent you in all of your family law cases, including those of divorce. We are discrete and know how to work within the system to pursue the justice and fair compensation you deserve.