A judge needs to approve and sign your final decree of divorce, then you have to take it to the court clerk to file for your divorce to be final.
Welcome to Step 3!
You’re almost finished with your divorce. In this step, you’ll create your final divorce documents, and create your standard possession order if you have kids.
FIRST: Your Final Divorce Decree
This questionnaire is where you and your spouse decide all the big stuff: how to divide assets, set parenting schedule, and the amount and frequency of child support payments.
OPTIONAL: Do you have kids?
If you do, you also need to prepare what’s called a standard possession order. This order says when each parent (or sometimes a non-parent) has the right to time with a child.
Why do I have to go to court?
What’s a prove-up hearing?
A Texas prove-up is a short hearing to present testimony to the judge on an uncontested issue or an agreement between the parties for your divorce. The prove-up will usually only last a few minutes. During the prove-up, you will give your signed decree to the judge for their review and signature to finalize your divorce.
When can I schedule a prove-up hearing?
You may set your case for a final prove- up hearing any time after the 60-day waiting period ends.
What should I expect during the prove-up hearing?
If you and your spouse are in complete agreement and have put your agreement to writing, the final hearing can be as simple as answering a few questions and having the judge enter the agreement into the court’s records.
My spouse and I still have some unresolved issues. Can we still do the prove-up hearing?
If you have a simple, uncontested divorce and have agreed on all the terms of your divorce, you can appear before the judge during the prove-up hearing. But, if your divorce involves contested issues, such as division of property or child custody, you may want to consult with a lawyer first. We have flat-fee legal help if you need it.
Does the prove-up hearing need to be in person? Are there changes because of the pandemic?
Since the coronavirus crisis began, the Texas Supreme Court has granted broader flexibility to courts to change their procedures to minimize the spread of the virus. In many cases, courts have been allowing people to appear by video conference (usually Zoom) or telephone. If you’d like to take this approach, you will need to answer questions here to generate the forms needed.
What if my spouse (the respondent) doesn't respond to my filing of divorce?
If your spouse doesn’t respond to your petition (or initial filing) within 20 days, there may be a default judgment issued instead. If you have an uncontested divorce, this is common. Keep going with your petition, financial disclosures, and final decree, and attend your final hearing.
HI WE ARE HERE
What’s a final decree of divorce?
A final decree of divorce is the court’s formal order granting a termination of a marriage. The decree is confirmed when it is signed and dated by the judge and court clerk.
What do I have to do to complete the final decree of divorce?
This is the part of your divorce where we will provide your input on the key issues (think: property, support, debt and shared parenting). The final decree of divorce will divide all your assets, set forth all matters of child custody and provide for the amount and frequency of child support payments.
What do I need to do if I want to change my name during or after the divorce?
The Final Decree can also provide for the name change of either spouse to a name previously used. This usually means that the wife may use the final decree of divorce to change her last name back to her maiden name or any other name, so long as it was previously used.
However, you may not use a final decree of divorce to change your name to a brand new name. This requires a separate process.
What if my address changed while my divorce process was going on?
What if I can’t fill out all the information in the final degree questionnaire?
Be sure not to leave blanks in the questions that will create the final decree of divorce that you are presenting to the court. At this stage, any forms you need a judge to sign must be complete.
When will my divorce be considered final?
Your divorce is considered final as soon as the judge signs and dates the final decree of divorce. Make sure either you or the court provides a copy of the court orders to your ex-spouse.
Do I need a lawyer to review my final decree?
Have we mentioned it’s a really good idea to have a lawyer review your divorce forms before you submit them to the court? The terms in your divorce judgment can have a profound impact on your future and, if you are anything like us — you want to move past this point in your life and start fresh — transition to a new, healthier, mindful space.