Dissolution of Marriage in Texas: Requirements and How to File

Texas offers several ways to end a marriage. Dissolution is one of the quickest routes available.

Texas laws use dissolution in place of the word divorce. If you want to end your relationship, you must file for dissolution. Working with your partner and agreeing on terms can save you time and money. 

How is dissolution of marriage recognized in Texas?

In some states, couples can file for a summary dissolution, ending their marriage while waiving all rights to go to court. Texas offers no such option. 

Dissolution of marriage in Texas is synonymous with divorce. The paperwork is the same, and there's no box to check to ask a judge to waive a hearing. 

Key facts about dissolution of marriage in Texas

  • You must pay a filing fee to start your divorce, and counties can set their own rates. Most people pay between $150 and $300 to file for divorce.
  • You are eligible to file for divorce if one or both of you lived in Texas for the last six months and in the county where you filed for the last 90 days. These residency requirements are fixed and can’t be waived. 
  • You must wait at least 60 days before you can finish your divorce. This mandatory cool-off period ensures you don’t rush to end your marriage. 
  • At least six steps must be completed (in order) before you can end your marriage. 

Texas requirements for filing for dissolution of marriage

Residency requirements ensure that appropriate people use the Texas court system. Either you or your spouse must meet them. 

The Texas residency requirements are as follows:

  • State: One of you must live in Texas for the last six months.
  • County: One of you must live in the Texas county where you file for the last 90 days. 

These are the only requirements you must meet. You can file for dissolution of marriage even if your wedding happened in another state.

How much does dissolution of marriage cost in Texas?

When you file your paperwork, the court system must record and file it. You’re charged for the court’s work, and each county can set its own rates. Typically, you’ll pay a few hundred dollars to file your case. Call the county where you’re filing first to ensure you understand the costs involved. 

If you work with your spouse, your filing fee could represent the entire bill for your dissolution of marriage. You could save money through collaboration. 

Suggested: How to Get a Divorce Filing Fee Waived

Forms and paperwork required

Several documents are required to end your marriage. They're all available online and free to download. 

You must use the following documents:

  • Divorce petition: This document starts the process. Use the version for people with children or without children
  • Waiver of Service Only: This form works as proof that your spouse has seen your petition.
  • Final divorce decree: At the end of your divorce, you will sign this document. Use the form for people with children or without children

Collaborate with your partner, and these are the only forms you will need for dissolution of marriage. 

How to file in Texas

You can file for dissolution of marriage in Texas with a few basic steps. They are as follows: 

Step 1: Fill out a divorce petition

Find the court in your county, and prepare documents that begin your dissolution of marriage. Choose the right divorce petition, and fill out every line on it. Make two copies. 

Step 2: File the divorce petition

Bring the forms to your court, and hand them to the clerk in your court. Pay your filing fee, and the clerk will stamp them with a date and time. You'll get two copies back: one for you and one for your spouse. 

Step 3: Notify your spouse

Talk with your spouse, and ensure they are aware of the divorce dissolution process. Ask your spouse to fill out the Waiver of Service Form and bring it to the court. Using this process ensures you don't need to legally serve your spouse with papers.

Note: If your spouse does not willingly fill out a Waiver of Service, you must have them served.

Read: How Do I Serve My Spouse with Divorce Papers in Texas?

Step 4: Fill out the final divorce decree 

Work with your spouse to split your assets and debts. Together, you can fill out your final divorce document and list your plans for the future. 

If you don't agree on every detail, you might decide to work with a mediator. Formal conversations can help you settle disagreements so you don't need to air them in court. 

Read: A Beginner's Guide to Divorce Mediation

Step 5: Attend a hearing

Some Texas courts will waive hearings for couples who agree on all details about their divorce. But plan for a short prove-up hearing, just in case. You will give a short speech about your plans, as will your spouse.

At the end of your hearing, the judge signs your final documents and hands them back. 

Step 6: Finalize your dissolution 

Take your signed documents to the clerk for filing. This is the last step to finalize your divorce. 

How long does it take?

Texas requires a 60-day waiting period for dissolution of marriage. You can't speed up this timeframe, so divorce will take at least two months. 

If you must attend a hearing, the process could take longer, depending on the court's schedule. If there are hiccups along the way due to disagreements, this timeline can be much longer.


Dissolution of marriage in Texas FAQ

How long does dissolution take in Texas?

Divorces take at least 60 days in Texas. Some divorces could take longer, depending on the court's schedule. 

Is summary dissolution the same as divorce?

Texas doesn't offer a summary dissolution (a quicker way to divorce in some states). In Texas, dissolution is synonymous with a standard "divorce." 

How do you start a summary dissolution in Texas?

Texas doesn't offer a summary dissolution. You must file a petition for divorce to end your marriage. 

How does dissolution of marriage work in Texas?

The process begins with paperwork, and it ends with paperwork signed by a judge and delivered to the court. 

Suggested: What is the Texas Divorce Process?


Family Code, Title 1, Subtitle C, Chapter 6, Subchapter A: Grounds for Divorce and Defenses. (April 1997). State of Texas. 
I Need a Divorce. We Do Not Have Minor Children. (October 2022).
Court Fees and Fee Waivers. (January 2023).