An overview of the Texas divorce process from start to finish

By all accounts, a divorce is one of the most stressful events that anyone can go through in life. With that in mind, if you have an upcoming divorce, you may be wondering exactly what to expect so you can prepare yourself. Here is a brief overview of each step in the divorce process, from the moment you or your spouse files for divorce to the moment the judge signs the final divorce decree.

First steps

The process begins when either you or your spouse files a divorce petition with the court. Starting on the day the petition was filed, at least sixty days must pass before the judge hands down the final divorce decree.

In order to be able to file for divorce in a Texas court, either you or your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least the past six months, and in the county where you filed for divorce for at least the past 90 days.

Divorce agreement

You do not have to leave things such as property division and child custody up to the court to decide. You and your spouse have the opportunity to take the terms of your divorce into your own hands and negotiate your own divorce agreement.

If you wish, you can hire a mediator to facilitate negotiations. You can also each hire your own attorneys to assist you in negotiating for what you most want and need.

In the end, your divorce agreement must cover all necessary elements of a divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody, child support and a parenting plan. The judge will look over your agreement and, if they decide that it is fair, will adopt and enforce it. If not, they will require specific revisions.


If you and your spouse are unable to come up with an agreement on your own, then you will have to litigate you divorce. Your attorneys will have to present evidence and arguments, and the judge will ultimately decide how to structure the final divorce decree.

There’s no way to predict exactly how a divorce will occur. But knowing how Texas courts handle divorces can help you to prepare yourself and make the process as smooth as possible.