Uncontested divorce refers to a divorce in which parties have been able to reach an agreement on their own or have relatively few issues that are not agreed upon. Whether a divorce is contested or uncontested does not affect the way a divorce is filed or the process for finalizing the case.
In order to start the divorce process, one party must file a Petition for Divorce with the court and give the other party notice that this has been done. In an uncontested divorce, the easiest way to do this is for the non-filing party to sign a Waiver of Service. This avoids the cost and embarrassment of having them served by a Process Server.
Generally, you file for divorce in the county in which you currently reside. While there are certain exceptions, you cannot file for divorce in Texas unless you have been living in the state for 6 months and residing in the county in which you intend to file for at least 90 days.
From there, the parties can work together to reach an agreement dividing their property, debts and securing agreements regarding their children, if they have any.
Even if the parties reach an agreement, a divorce cannot be finalized – barring certain unusual circumstances – until the 61st day after the Petition for Divorce has been filed. This is referred to as the “Cooling Off Period”.
Even in an uncontested divorce, it is essential to seek competent counsel to help with the drafting and finalization of your legal paperwork. Once a Final Decree has been entered it can be very costly and sometimes impossible to fix problems that arise later on.