An uncontested divorce occurs when the parties commit to working to reach agreements (themselves or with some help) on finances, assets, and debts. And when there are children involved, decide (with help) upon a parenting plan and support arrangements. This does not mean you must have agreements on everything. It just means you both recognize the benefits of working this out.
In these circumstances, a divorce can be obtained with very limited court involvement (it is not possible in the State of Texas to obtain a divorce with absolutely no court involvement.)
In an uncontested divorce, minimum court involvement can be generally summarized as follows:
- One of the spouses must file a petition for divorce and pay the court filing fees.
- The other spouse signs a waiver of service (this waiver is only as to formal service of the divorce petition by a process server – it does not waive any other rights – and it tells the court this is an uncontested divorce), which is also filed with the court.
- A mandatory 60-day waiting period is observed, starting from the date the petition for divorce is filed, during which time the court cannot finalize the divorce. We use this period to prepare the final decree of divorce and other legal paperwork necessary to complete the divorce process.
- After the waiting period has passed, and once all of the paperwork is completed, we submit everything to the court to finalize. Prior to COVID, this required a very short court appearance for the court to receive some evidence, approve the final decree, and grant the divorce. But, most courts now don’t require a court appearance and grant divorce based upon the paperwork submitted – no court appearance necessary!
Making agreements about finances, property and children not only shortens the legal process, it also reduces legal fees. Where possible, we offer flat fee and hybrid flat-hourly fee structures in uncontested divorces to minimize cost and maximize the amount of money you keep.
On average, the uncontested divorce process takes approximately 3 to 6 months to complete (with most completing within about 90 days – from filing to final court approval). Individual factors can shorten or lengthen that time estimate.
Contact our firm to discuss your needs, and we will structure a plan just for you.