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Get divorced online in Texas

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When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce in Texas, there are several requirements you must meet before you can even file. State law allows for both “no-fault” and “fault” divorces, with no-fault divorces as one of the most common grounds for legal uncoupling. We break down average costs, the different avenues you can use to get a divorce and more tips to take the guesswork out of it.

Quick facts about divorce in Texas

  • Filing fee for a divorce in Texas costs $40
  • Takes a minimum of 60 days from filing to finalize your divorce and have the decree issued
  • Takes approximately 20 to 25 business days to process a divorce verification letter online, 65 to 85 days by mail, and 5 to 30 minutes in person at the Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Community distribution state
  • Divorce filings are public record

Requirements to get divorced in Texas

Texas state law requires that you or your spouse meet both state and county residency requirements:

  • Lived in Texas for at least six months.
  • Lived in the county where you will file for divorce for at least 90 days

The spouse that meets these requirements can start the divorce process by filing a divorce petition.

Can I get a divorce in Texas without going to court?

Yes, most uncontested divorces don’t need to go to court. If you and your spouse can agree on the divorce terms, you have your choice of divorce method: getting an online divorce, doing it yourself or hiring an attorney.

But a contested divorce is when you and your spouse have different opinions on at least one issue. You can still try to keep your divorce outside the courtroom if you pursue a collaborative divorce — where the lawyers handle the negotiations — or opt for mediation or arbitration.

Average cost of divorce in Texas

At the absolute minimum, you’ll need to pay approximately $40 to file for divorce in Texas. Your county may charge additional court fees. You’ll also need to budget for additional photocopies and mailing expenses.

Using online divorce services

An online divorce service will run you between $150 and $6,000, plus your state filing fee. Depending on the service you choose, you can pay for extra conveniences, including a third party who will serve your spouse the divorce papers and file your documents at the county clerk on your behalf.

Online divorce services help you prepare your legal forms without needing to hire a lawyer. They’re one of the cheapest methods of getting divorced if you have an uncontested case — where you and your spouse can agree to the terms of your divorce.

Hiring lawyers

The average cost for a divorce in Texas ranges from $11,000 to $13,000 when hiring divorce attorneys, according to a study by Martindale-Nolo Research.

If your divorce is relatively simple, the cost will be around a few thousand dollars at a minimum. For complicated divorces (for example, those involving child custody), the cost could be as high as $34,000.

Typically, lawyers will bill you hourly — between $260 and $320 per hour on average. If you choose to hire divorce lawyers, consider negotiating a flat fee to save on costs.

Doing it yourself

Navigating the divorce process could cost you as little as $40, which covers your state’s filing fees. But you’ll need to do your own research, compile all the required legal forms from your county clerk office or online and fill them out on your own.

Aside from the $40 filing fee, a few other extra expenses from a DIY divorce in Texas might include:

  • Family protection fee: $0.01 to $15
  • Certified copy of marriage record request: $10
  • State records management and preservation fee: $5
  • Child custody evaluation fee: Amount set by court

What if I can’t afford the filing fee for a divorce in Texas?

You can ask a judge to waive the fees if you can’t afford the filing fee. You’ll likely qualify if you can prove at least one of the following:

  • Qualify for government benefits, including food stamps and Medicaid
  • A legal aid provider is representing you for free
  • You don’t have enough money to afford the court fees

To request a fee waiver, submit an application with any proof of government benefits.

How to get a divorce online in Texas

To get an online divorce in Texas, your case must be uncontested and you’ll have to meet the state’s residency requirements. Once you qualify, you’ll answer a few questions in an online questionnaire, and the online divorce service will handle the legal jargon of your divorce papers.

It’ll send you your legal forms to sign, notarize and submit them to your county clerk. There is a boatload of online divorce options available, so compare prices and features to find one that best suits your needs.

Start filling out your Texas divorce papers

If you need some assistance with your divorce, but don’t want to involve lawyers, consider an online divorce service:

Name Product Cost Includes filing papers with court? File without spouse Legal assistance available Customer service
3 Step Divorce
$299 - $336
No - you must file and pay court fees
Phone, Email
File within one business day of your start date with 3StepDivorce and qualify for a $50 cash rebate. Payment plans available.
No - you must file and pay court fees
Phone, Email
Ready-to-file divorce forms for one flat fee. Step-by-step directions to help simplify uncontested divorces.
LegalZoom online divorce
No - you must file and pay court fees
Phone, Email, Live chat
File for an uncontested divorce online or find legal resources to help guide you through the divorce process.

Compare up to 4 providers

How long does it take to get a divorce in Texas?

By law, it will take at least 60 days before a divorce is finalized. Time starts ticking from when the divorce petition is filed with the court.

The average divorce takes 12.5 months to complete with divorce attorneys, according to a study by Martindale-Nolo Research. Whether you have children with your spouse affects this timing: It’ll drop down to 10 months if you have no children or go up to 14 months if kids are involved.

Your divorce may also take longer if you have complex issues, such as complicated divisions of property, or if you and your spouse can’t agree on the terms. The faster that you can resolve your issues, the cheaper and quicker the divorce process will be.

What are the grounds for divorce in Texas?

Texas allows both “no-fault” and “fault” divorces, with seven total grounds to choose from:

  • Insupportability. Better known as no-fault divorce, this reason for divorce is a conflict of personalities that has led to the end of the marriage.
  • Cruelty. You’ve experienced cruel treatment, which includes physical violence or emotional abuse, making living together impossible.
  • Adultery. You’ll need to show evidence that your spouse has committed adultery during the marriage.
  • Conviction of a felony. The court may grant you a divorce if your spouse has been convicted of a felony or has been imprisoned for at least one year.
  • Abandonment. Your spouse has left the home for at least one year or has left intending never to return.
  • Living apart. You’ll need to demonstrate that you and your spouse have lived separately for at least three years.
  • Confinement in a mental hospital. Your spouse is relegated to a mental hospital for at least three years, or you can show that your spouse’s mental disorder is likely to relapse.

Bottom line

Once you or your spouse meet the Texas residency requirements, you’ll then pick a divorce method. If your divorce is uncontested, the most budget-friendly option is to use an online divorce service or hunt down the forms and fill them out yourself. But if you and your spouse disagree on things, you’ll probably need to hire an attorney to negotiate and represent your interests.

Learn more about marriage dissolution with our step-by-step guide to filing for divorce.

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to more of your questions about divorce in Texas.

Do my spouse and I need to live in Texas to get a divorce?

No. As long as either of you has lived in the state for the previous six months and in your county for 90 days, you meet the residency requirements to be divorced in Texas.

Can I still get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want to get one?

Yes. Your spouse cannot stop you from getting a divorce. If your spouse chooses not to work with you on the divorce, you will receive a default judgment — basically, the divorce will be completed along the terms you set.

Can I still get a divorce if I can’t locate my spouse?

Yes. However, you first need to make an exhaustive good-faith effort to locate your spouse. For example, you might check telephone listings, use private investigators or look through property records.

If you still can’t find your spouse, and if a judge rules that you have searched as much as you were able, you can initiate service by publication. This means you publish a divorce summons in a newspaper. If your spouse doesn’t respond within 28 days, you can go ahead with the divorce without your spouse’s participation.

Do my spouse and I need to live in the same county to get a divorce?

No. You or your spouse just need to be living in a county for 90 days before the divorce is filed in that county.
Say that you’ve lived in Harris County for the past 90 days and your spouse has lived in Dallas County for the past 90 days. In this case, you can file for divorce in Harris County, or your spouse can file in Dallas County.

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30 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JMay 5, 2019

    My spouse and I have been together for 15 yrs but only been a resident for about a year and now we want a divorce. How to go through this?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMay 6, 2019Staff

      Hi J,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I’m sorry to hear about your situation.

      If you are planning to get a divorce in Texas, you would need to meet the following requirements:

      – Lived in Texas for at least six months.
      – Lived in the county the divorce will be filed in for at least 90 days.

      Based on what you mentioned, you are most likely eligible to file a divorce petition.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    AndyApril 23, 2019

    I currently live in Arizona, but am residing in Tennessee (for work reasons only). My ex lives in Texas with my daughter. Do I have to file MT divorce in Texea?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 24, 2019Staff

      Hi Andy,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      A divorce starts with a divorce petition. The petition is written by one spouse (the petitioner) and served on the other spouse. The petition is then filed in a state court in the county where one of the spouses resides. From here the next steps of the process will be provided by the court. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    SoniaApril 3, 2019

    Is the divorce wait period 60 days or 60 working days from the date the petition is filed in Texas?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaApril 4, 2019Staff

      Hi Sonia,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you.

      Texas requires a minimum of 60 days waiting period before any divorce can be finalized. It is not 60 working days, but rather 60 days. This means that the shortest time it will take to finalize a divorce in Texas is 61 days.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    JFebruary 10, 2019

    If a party contests a divorce and the divorce is granted, are they responsible for the entire cost of the divorce?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 10, 2019Staff

      Hi J f r,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      In most cases, it is both the spouses who are responsible for paying their own legal fees and costs in a divorce.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    AnonymousJanuary 28, 2019

    Can a spouse file a default judgement without having the other one served with papers?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesJanuary 29, 2019Staff

      Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Although it is possible to file the papers to begin the divorce procedure without your spouse’s knowledge, unless it is an abandonment issue where the spouse cannot be found, you are going to have to serve them with the papers in order to actually proceed. In most cases, it is much better to give the spouse a heads up that the divorce will be filed. To ensure that no one is blindsided and retaliate but to make a smooth transition for the divorce to push through. You may need to speak with a divorce lawyer to know more on the intricacies of these types of cases. Hope this helps!


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