Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Common Divorce Questions

General Topics

The petitioner is the term for the spouse who files the petition. Even if both spouses want the divorce, only one spouse can be the petitioner.
The petitioner is the spouse that files the petition. The respondent is the other spouse.
An uncontested divorce is essentially an agreed divorce. Read more.
In addition to your completed Texas divorce forms, we also provide detailed step-by-step instructions. You'll either (1) take hard copies to the district clerk's office or (2) scan and e-file the documents. The later will require an e-filing account through
At least 61 days. Texas law requires that the couple wait 60 days before the Court can grant a divorce. This is known as the cooling off period.
Almost half of all divorce petitioners (the person filing the divorce) represent themselves in court. Roughly 80% of all respondents represent themselves in a divorce.
Yes, we actually have two different sets of divorce forms and corresponding questionnaires, one of which is dedicated to a divorce when with children are involved.
Typically not. If all of the children of the marriage are over the age of 18 (and not disabled to the point where child support or custody is an issue), the divorce will NOT need to address child support and child custody. As such, you would use the "divorce with NO children" forms even though you have adult children.
No, the court costs are not included in our fee. The filing fees vary by county, but are usually in the $200 range (unless you qualify for and file an Affidavit of Inability to Pay Filing Fees). Our flat fee is for all of the necessary divorce documents and the step-by-step instructions.
No, Texas is a no-fault state. Our forms use the standard clause "the marriage has become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship".
A common law marriage exists when (1) a man and woman have agreed to be married; (2) after an agreement to be married the spouses lived together as husband and wife in Texas; and (3) the spouses have held themselves out to the public as married.
Yes, our forms allow for a name change. The wife may go back to her maiden name or to a name from a previous marriage. However, you must go back to a name that you have used in the past.
When you start a divorce by filing an Original Petition for Divorce, the Texas Family Code requires that your spouse be officially notified that the divorce has been filed. One way to do this is to have them served by a process server. However, this isn’t usually necessary in most agreed divorces. As the name implies, a Waiver of Service is a document that allows your spouse to waive the requirement for service. In other words, by signing the document, he or she acknowledges that it is not necessary to have them served by a process server.
The Final Decree of Divorce is the document that declares the end of the marriage. This document outlines the agreements that you and your spouse have made regarding all of the specifics of your divorce.
Some counties require parents to take a parenting class before the divorce can become final. When filing the divorce, you should ask the clerk whether or not a parenting class will be required in your uncontested divorce.
Yes. But first, you must prove to the court that you have tried hard to find your spouse. This typically includes publishing a notice of the divorce which is outside of the scope of our divorce kits.
No. Unlike our competition, we do not believe in hidden charges. Our forms allow for the wife (if she wants to) to change her name to a previously used name.

Jurisdiction Issues

The person who files the divorce is called the Petitioner and usually gets to talk first at the final hearing. The other spouse is the Respondent. There is no negative connotation attributable to the spouse who files the divorce and no real advantage in an uncontested divorce. Our forms are to be generated by the petitioner.
Either you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months. As long as one spouse still lives in Texas, you can file your divorce in Texas.
No, you can get a divorce in Texas if either you or your spouse has lived in Texas for at least six months.
Either you or your spouse must have lived in the county of filing for 90 days immediately prior to filing. You can generally file the divorce in any county in which one of the spouses resided for 90 days prior to filing.

Division of Property

The two categories of property are community and seperate. Seperate property consists of (a) property owned prior to the marriage; (b) property acquired at any time by gift or inheritance; (c) recoveries for personal injuries sustained by a spouse during marriage (except for loss of earnings). Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage. This is true even if only one spouse has possession of the property.
Hopefully, you and your spouse will agree to the division of property. Generally the community estate is divided in a just and right manner.
If you have liability to a creditor, that liability will continue until the obligation is paid regardless of the terms of your divorce decree (unless the creditor agrees to modify the loan/obligation). The decree may order your spouse to assume full responsibility for payment of certain debts. However, the decree is not binding against the creditor.

Child Support Issues

Generally, the parent that has primary custody of the children receives child support from the other parent.
Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code governs child support.

You may enter into an agreement for the amount of child support to be paid if such agreement is in the best interest of child. Generally, Texas law says that child support is calculated by multiplying the paying parent's monthly net income by a percentage that is set in the guidelines. To calculate the amount of child support, you first have to determine the monthly net income of the parent paying child support. To determine your monthly net income, subtract income taxes, social security taxes, union dues, and health insurance premiums and other medical expenses (if the court ordered the paying parent to pay these expenses) from your monthly gross income. FYI-There is a maximum amount of the obligor’s net resources that are used to compute the child support obligation. As of September 1, 2013, this cap is $8,550 (this is not the maximum monthly child support obligation, but rather the maximum monthly net resources figure in which the percentage below would then other words the child support calculation applies only to the first $8,550 of monthly net income). If the person paying child support only has children by this marriage, child support will be calculated as follows:

  • 1 child: 20 percent of net resources
  • 2 children: 25 percent
  • 3 children: 30 percent
  • 4 children: 35 percent
  • 5 or more children: 40 percent

If the parent who will be paying child support has children from other marriages or relationships, the percentages will differ from those stated above. You can use the following child support calculators: Child Support Calculator or Child Support Calculator.

Our divorce decree allows you to specify the amount of child support required depending on the number of children. For example, the child support obligation may be $400/month when two children are under the age of 18 and then only $300/month when the oldest/first child reaches the age of 18.
Child support payments typically go through the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) in San Antonio. They record when payments are received and then send them on to the recipient. This systems makes it easy to keep track of child support payments.
No. Unless the court orders otherwise, all child support payments must be sent to the State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 659791, San Antonio, Texas, 78265-9791.
Step-parents have no obligation of support for their step-children. The use of a step-parent's income in the calculation of child support is not allowed.
No. You typically only need to include the children that are minors. Adult children generally do not require support or court ordered visitation and thus are not included in the divorce. As such, you only include the minor children (under the age of 18) in our divorce documents. When asked "How many minor children were born of the marriage?", you should state only the number of children under the age of 18.

Custody Issues

Conservatorship refers to the rights, powers, and duties of each party related to the children of the marriage. The amount of time a person has with a child is referred to as possession or possessory conservatorship.
There are two basic types of managing conservatorship: joint managing conservatorship and sole managing conservatorship. Texas law presumes that both parents should be appointed joint managing conservators, and contains limited grounds for rebutting that presumption. In general, most interested parents who have not committed family violence or otherwise do not pose a risk of harm to the child will be appointed as a joint managing conservator. Our forms provide for a joint managing conservatorship.
No. One party will be the primary managing conservator and will have a few additional rights that the non-custodial parent will not have (i.e. the right to determine the child’s primary residence; the exclusive right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures; the exclusive right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment of the children; the exclusive right to represent the children in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the children; the exclusive right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States; and typically the right to child support).
The Texas family code outlines standard possession periods. This is referred to as the "Standard Possession Order" and is included in our final decree of divorce. The Standard Possession Order generally provides the non-custodial parent with every other weekend, Thursday evenings, 30 days during summer vacation, every other spring break and thanksgiving, a portion of the Christmas holiday (The SPO also outlines a different structure if the parents live over 100 miles away for each other).
Generally yes, but not with the child. One spouse will be granted primary custody and will have the power to determine the domicile of the child. The power to determine domicile is typically restricted. For example, our forms allow you restrict the power to determine domicile to one of the following: (1) within the United States; (2) within the state of Texas; (3) within the county of the divorce; (4) within the school district last attended by the child as of the date of the Decree of Divorce. To lift the restriction, the parent granted primary custody would have to go back to court to modify the decree of divorce.

Quick Overview

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Does Your Divorce Qualify?

In order to use our divorce forms, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Uncontested Divorce: Your divorce must be uncontested (also known as agreed divorce or mutual divorce). The most common kind of uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on the terms of the divorce. What is an uncontested divorce?
  • Texas Residency: Either you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months. The requirement is met if one spouse meets this requirement.