Texas uncontested divorce law is fairly straightforward and the process can allow certain individuals the ability to handle most of the process on their own. The idea behind an uncontested divorce is that the couple reaches a legitimate agreement that both will stand by throughout the divorce process. If a couple is able to agree on the terms of their divorce, such as child custody, support, financial and property divisions, one party may hire an attorney to do the following:
1. File the Original Petition for Divorce
2. Draft the Divorce Decree
3. Provide QDRO drafting or support for property divisions, as needed
4. Attend the court mandated prove-up with one party
5. File the signed decree with the district clerk once the judge signs off on it.
In Texas, a couple wishing to divorce must wait a minimum of 60 days before one of the party members may go before the judge to finalize the divorce. The uncontested divorce option is far less costly for clients and saves a vast amount of time, allowing for the two individuals to move on with their lives within a short period of time. Often times, a litigated case can take a year or longer to make it to a final trial, as dockets are full and attorneys frequently have other cases that take precedence by court requirement. Moreover, many district courts require mediation prior to trial, which again, is a separate fee for both the mediator and the attorneys involved. When each side must hire an attorney to represent him/her, the retainer alone is generally no less than $2500 and is often $5000 in large cities and metroplexes, which is billed against, requiring an additional retainer each time a payment runs out. If a client can’t pay, attorneys will often withdraw from the case, leaving those who have paid thousands of dollars without any end result. When large estates and children are at stake and the other spouse is unable to be reasonable, a contested case may be the only option. However, if a couple can reach an agreement prior to temporary orders, this type of divorce may be a consideration if each party wishes to save costly court and attorney fees.