How to Get a Divorce in Texas (Secretly)


divorce lawyer explaining to clients how to get a divorce and the process to expectGetting ready to file for divorce can seem daunting and scary because your life will change in drastic ways. But it can also be liberating because you get a fresh start to work towards the life you want. However, before you jump into filing for divorce, you should ensure you are prepared. Understanding the specifics of how to get a divorce in Texas can greatly assist in easing the preparation process.

Prepare for Divorce

Before starting the divorce process, you should prepare mentally, emotionally, and financially. Some examples of how to get ready for your divorce proceedings are:

  • Build a support system: Divorce can get messy and challenging, so having people around you to provide support is vital.
  • Keep detailed records: Divorce brings out the worst in people, possibly including your spouse. Therefore, you should keep detailed records of all your financial transactions and assets. Doing this can help ensure a fair division of all your marital assets.
  • Be wary of social media: Be cautious when posting; social media content can be misconstrued. You do not want to post anything your spouse could use against you during your divorce proceedings.

In addition to preparing yourself for divorce, you need to decide which grounds you will use to file for divorce. Texas grounds for divorce are:

  • Adultery: With evidence of your spouse’s infidelity, you can file a divorce petition based on adultery.
  • Abandonment: If your spouse left your marital home without justification and has not returned for at least one year, you can use that as grounds for filing a fault divorce.
  • Cruelty: If you have experienced documented physical or emotional abuse from your spouse, you can claim cruelty.
  • Felony conviction: If your spouse receives a one-year prison sentence for a felony, you can cite it as divorce grounds.
  • Insupportability: When your marriage is not working, and there is no way you will reconcile, you can claim insupportability as grounds for your divorce.
  • Living apart: When you and your spouse have not lived together or lived together while leading separate lives for at least three years, you can use living apart as grounds for your divorce.
  • Confinement to a mental hospital: If your spouse has been in a mental health facility for three years with unlikely recovery, you can file for divorce due to mental health confinement.

Start the Divorce Process

When figuring out how to get a divorce in Texas, one of the first steps is determining whether you meet the residency requirements. To file a divorce petition in Texas, either you or your spouse must have resided in the county where you file for divorce for at least 90 days.

File for Divorce

After meeting residency requirements, you can file a divorce petition based on your stated grounds. In Texas, insupportability is the most common divorce type because it needs no evidence of an irreparable marriage.

Divorce Process in Texas

divorce lawyer in texas explaining to clients how to get a divorce in texasIn Texas, the divorce process involves several steps after you file the divorce petition, including:

  • Serving the petition: After filing your divorce petition, you must serve your spouse a copy. You can do this through a process server, sheriff, or certified mail.
  • Responding to the petition: After serving your spouse the divorce papers, they typically have 20 days to respond. If they fail to respond, your divorce can proceed uncontested. However, if your spouse responds, your divorce may become contested.
  • Discovery: During the discovery phase of your divorce, you and your spouse must exchange any information and documents related to your divorce. This documentation can include financial documents or employment records.
  • Mediation: In a contested divorce, you might attend mediation, where a mediator helps you reach a settlement agreement.
  • Trial: If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, your case will proceed to trial. During the trial, you and your spouse will present evidence in support of your case. Using that evidence, the court will decide on the division of property, spousal support, child custody, and child support.
  • Final decree: Once the court determines divorce terms, a judge will draft and sign the conclusive divorce decree. Your divorce decree outlines terms like asset division and alimony.

This process can take several months or even years, depending on the complexity of your case.

Contact the Divorce Attorneys of Smith Family Law, PLLC

Understanding “how to get a divorce in Texas” is essential for a seamless process. Divorces are challenging, so preparation is vital to ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible. At Smith Family Law, our Austin-based attorneys understand how divorces work and how to work to get your needs met in your divorce. Contact our skillful and dedicated family attorneys at (512) 572-3533 to get your divorce started with an experienced legal team standing up for you.


Written by: Smith Family Law

Contact Us

We would like to hear from you. Please send us a message by filling out the form below and we will get back with you shortly.