How to File an Uncontested Divorce in Texas

In an uncontested divorce in Texas, both sides agree on how to split their assets. You work within the court system to make your agreements legally binding, but you make core decisions together instead of arguing your side in front of a judge. 

Uncontested cases require planning, paperwork, and attention to detail. Your divorce could cost as little as $250, and it could be completed within about 60 days. 

Eligibility criteria for uncontested divorce in Texas

You must meet a few Texas rules and regulations before obtaining an uncontested divorce in Texas. 

The requirements involve the following:

  •       Residency: Either you or your ex must have lived in Texas for six months and in the county where you file for the last 90 days.
  •       Reason: Texas is a no-fault divorce state, so you can get divorced without assigning blame to one spouse. While Texas codes allow people to cite issues like cruelty or adultery in divorce to get a larger share of the estate, most people in an uncontested divorce cite a conflict of personalities with no expectation of a resolution.
  •       Agreement: An uncontested divorce involves two people who agree about all of the items involved in their estate and are willing to sign the divorce forms. If you disagree about even one thing or your partner won’t participate in the process, you may need a contested divorce instead. (There may be help available, though. If your divorce is contested, consider working with a mediator to iron out your divorce terms instead of going to court. It'll save you a lot of money and time.)

Do you need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce in Texas?

You do not need a lawyer to represent your interests during an uncontested divorce. Texas allows for pro se divorces, in which you represent your own interests.

As part of your divorce, you will participate in a hearing in a courtroom. (More on this later.) You do not need a lawyer's help in court. You can represent yourself.

You also don't need a lawyer to help you complete paperwork or split your assets and debts. As mentioned above, if you can't agree with your spouse on some divorce terms, a mediator may be able to help you collaborate and find reasonable solutions.

While representing yourself can save you money and might make your divorce process move faster, it’s not without risk. You must collaborate with your spouse in an uncontested divorce, and that’s not safe if your relationship involves abuse or intimidation.

If your case is complicated or your estate is large, hiring a lawyer could be a smart way to ensure you make the right decisions.

What do you need before starting the divorce process?

An uncontested divorce stems from agreements. You and your ex must agree on the terms and conditions of your split.

People must agree on the following topics:

  •       Real estate: Who keeps the property you bought during the marriage? What does your ex get if you keep your real estate assets?
  •       Debts: How will you split bills from credit cards, personal loans, and other financial transactions?
  •       Support: Will one person pay the other spousal support (sometimes referred to as spousal maintenance, or alimony)? If so, how much and for how long?
  •       Children: If you have children, where will they live? When will they visit the other parent? How much will a non-custodial parent pay the other on a weekly or monthly basis?

Again, if you can’t agree, a mediator may be able to help help. A mediator is an impartial third party that can help you and your ex speak clearly and negotiate a solution.

When you agree, you and your ex can create a marital settlement agreement that details everything you’ve decided. Some mediators will make this document for you.

It’s best to work out these details before you file for an uncontested divorce. If your talks break down and you can’t agree on core parts of your split, an uncontested divorce is not the right route for you.


How does the Texas uncontested divorce process work?

An uncontested divorce begins and ends with paperwork. These are the steps you must follow:

Step 1: Fill out a divorce petition

A divorce petition notifies the courts that you're prepared to legally end your marriage. Two different pathways exist.

People who share minor children need these forms:

People who do not share minor children need these forms:

Find the form that applies to your marriage and fill it out. You will become a petitioner, and your ex is the respondent.

Step 2: File the divorce petition

Find your Texas county court. Visit the clerk in the courthouse, and bring two copies of your divorce petition. The clerk will stamp the forms and keep one.

Step 3: Notify the respondent

In an uncontested divorce, the respondent isn't surprised about impending paperwork. Tell your ex on the day you file your petition. One day later, the respondent can file a Waiver of Service Only form. Two versions exist:

This document is legal proof that the respondent is aware that you want a divorce and agrees to the process. Your spouse must sign the form in front of a notary at least one day after you filed for divorce. After it’s signed, your ex can give the form back to you, which you can file with the district clerk.

Step 4: Fill out the final divorce decree and schedule a hearing

Texas requires people to wait 60 days between filing and finalizing a divorce. While you wait, fill out your final divorce documents.

People with no share children can use Final Decree of Divorce (Set A) for people with an opposite-sex marriage or Final Decree of Divorce (Set D) for people with a same-sex marriage.

People who share children need the following forms:

Both parties should review and sign these documents. Contact the court where you filed documents and ask to schedule your uncontested divorce hearing.

Step 5: Attend a hearing

You and your ex are required to attend a prove-up hearing, in which you talk to the court about your divorce and the terms you've agreed to. This hearing takes place at least 60 days after you file for divorce.

You will need to answer simple questions during the time. Refer to these sample scripts to help you understand what to say at your hearing:

Your judge will sign your divorce decree and give it back to you.

Step 6: Finalize your divorce.

You must file your signed documents with the clerk after your hearing. When you've filed your documents, you've taken the last step to finalize your divorce.

What to expect after the process is complete

When you’ve filed the final documents, your work is done.

While Texas has a minimum 60-day waiting period for divorces, most take much longer. A typical timeframe lasts between three and six months. Collaborating with your ex can make this process move quicker. The more you argue, the longer this takes.

How much does it cost?

Depending on the county, the filing fee ranges from $250 to $320. Contact the court clerk's office where you plan to file to learn the exact fees involved in your case.

If you hire a mediator, you’ll need to pay that professional for their time and expertise. Some mediators charge a flat fee between $4,000 to $5,000. Others charge an hourly fee of $100 to $500. The more complex your situation, the more you should expect to pay.

If you can't afford the court fees, you can ask for a waiver. Financial relief is typically available for people who can prove that any of the following is true:

  • You get government benefits (like food stamps or Medicaid) based on your income.
  • You’re represented by a free lawyer via a legal aid provider.
  • You applied for help from a free lawyer and got approved, but a lawyer wasn’t able to take your case.
  • You don’t have enough money to cover your basic needs and the court fees.

Fill out a fee waiver form to ask for assistance, and turn it in to the clerk at the courthouse. The clerk could approve your fee waiver or ask a judge to decide. If it’s approved, the court could waive your filing fees, service fees, and copy fees.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce?

In a contested divorce, people can’t agree on one or many items in their split. In an uncontested divorce, people collaborate on their divorce and don’t need the court to decide things for them.

Do I need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce?

No. You can represent yourself in an uncontested divorce. However, you could hire a lawyer to help you negotiate with your partner on a fair settlement, but many people use a mediator for this step. When you’ve made that agreement, you can move through an uncontested divorce together.

How long does an uncontested divorce take?

Texas requires people to wait at least 60 days between filing for divorce and finalizing it. All divorces will take this long, but some will take longer.


Uncontested and Contested Cases: The Difference. (October 2022).
Pro Se Divorce Handbook: Representing Yourself in Family Court. (January 2019). The Texas Young Lawyers Association and the State Bar of Texas.
What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court. Texas Young Lawyers Association.
Court Fees and Fee Waivers. (January 2023).
I Need a Divorce. We Have Children Under 18. (October 2023).
I Need a Divorce. We Do Not Have Minor Children. (October 2023).
Divorce in Texas. (January 2023).
Divorce Mediation Cost in 2024. (March 2023). Forbes.
Divorce Specialists
After spending years in toxic and broken family law courts, and seeing that no one wins when “lawyer up,” we knew there was an opportunity to do and be better. We created Hello Divorce to the divorce process easier, affordable, and completely online. Our guiding principles are to make sure both spouses feel heard, supported, and set up for success as they move into their next chapter in life.