While Texas law applies to all divorces in the state, jurisdiction pertaining to divorce depends on the region and the courthouse. If you – or your spouse – are Lewisville residents, then all proceedings go through the Denton County Courthouse. Most people will benefit from hiring an attorney to guide them through divorce proceedings. However, if you and your spouse have few assets and no minor children, you can file for divorce yourself, a procedure known as pro se.
How to File a Pro Se Divorce in Lewisville
Go to the Denton County Courthouse, located at 1450 East McKinney Street. You want to head to the District Clerk’s office. The clerk’s office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To file a pro se divorce, you must bring your original divorce petition, along with two copies. All forms are available through the county clerk’s office. The clerk will provide you with the state-mandated Case Information Sheet to file with the petition. You must pay all fees at the time of filing. Currently, the fee for when your spouse signs a waiver is $289, and a divorce with citation is $297. Call the clerk’s office before you arrive at 940-349-2200 and confirm the fee schedule. You cannot pay with a personal check, but the clerk’s office accepts cash, money orders, cashier’s checks, and credit cards. For the latter, there is a processing fee. Once your petition is filed, the clerk will stamp it with a time and date of filing. A case number and court are assigned.
You must notify your spouse of the divorce filing. You can hire an agent to present this legal notice, or your spouse can sign a form known as “waiver of service” before a notary and file it in court. If you don’t know your spouse’s whereabouts, you must post the divorce notice in a newspaper in the town in which your spouse was last known to reside, as well as posting the notice in the Denton County courthouse.
Before you can go before a judge for a final hearing, the case must be on file for at least sixty days, although there are exceptions. Once this period is over, you may go to the courthouse on Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 and 9 a.m. to go to an assigned court and present your case before a judge. Such hearings do not require pre-scheduling if both spouses agree to the divorce. However, if a citation was filed in the divorce and an answer filed, you must schedule a hearing and notify your spouse of the time and date. This means the divorce is contested. If uncontested, fill out the final decree of divorce form.
In an uncontested divorce, you must bring your divorce petition, the answer, and the decree. The judge signs the paperwork, which you then file with the district clerk, so your divorce is finalized. Please be aware the judge cannot assist you in your divorce case – you must know how to present your case in front of the court.
If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, it is critical to hire a divorce attorney to represent you. You could end up losing property and/or income. Even if a divorce is not contested, it is wise to obtain a lawyer if minor children are involved.
Contact a Lewisville, Texas Divorce Lawyer
Legal proceedings are complicated. Trying to file for divorce yourself can end up costing you financially and emotionally at a difficult time. If you are going through a divorce, you need the services of an experienced Lewisville, Texas divorce attorney. Call Alison Grant, Attorney at Law or contact her online.