The Purpose of a “Petition for Divorce”

The Petition is simply the document that is used to ask the court for a divorce.  It identifies the parties in a lawsuit, and asks the court for all relief that will be asked for in the final order of the case.  If the petition does not ask for something that you need in your divorce, such as a name change, the petition should be amended to include the request.  A court can decline to give you relief at your final divorce hearing that you did not request in your petition for divorce.

Why Does the Filing Date of the Petition Matter?

When a petition for divorce is filed and accepted by the Texas District Clerk’s Office, the document is time stamped, and will be entered as a matter of permanent public record (this is one of many reasons why you should have a professional draft your petition for divorce).

The time stamp on the petition is considered the official date of filing the divorce.

The reason that the date of filing matters, is simply that Texas will not allow a person to be divorced unless 60 days have passed from the date the divorce was filed and stamped.

The theory behind the law  is that spouses sometimes get in heated arguments, and file for divorce.  But, that state of Texas does not want families to be able to dissolve overnight.  Rather, 60 days of cooling off is required.

For this reason, any bogus none law firm company that is promising to divorce you in 30 minutes, is flat out lying.

scheduling divorce lawyer

What Reasons Do I Need to Put on My Texas Petition for Divorce

Historically, a man and woman could not divorce unless good cause (such as family violence) was proven to the Judge.  Today in Texas, the basis for divorce is most commonly listed as irreconcilable differences.  The reason being that while there are always some very personal reasons underlying the true cause of divorce, those reasons needn’t be listed on the public document.

This is especially true for agreed divorce cases.

Texas Law Allows 5 Reasons a Person May File for Divorce, and They are Narrowly Defined. Most File Due to Insupportability, As It is the Most Encompassing Reason

Texas Family Code: SUBCHAPTER A. GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE AND DEFENSES

Sec. 6.001. INSUPPORTABILITY. On the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Sec. 6.002. CRUELTY. The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment toward the complaining spouse of a nature that renders further living together insupportable.

Sec. 6.003. ADULTERY. The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery.

Sec. 6.004. CONVICTION OF FELONY. (a) The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if during the marriage the other spouse:

(1) has been convicted of a felony;

(2) has been imprisoned for at least one year in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a federal penitentiary, or the penitentiary of another state; and

(3) has not been pardoned.

(b) The court may not grant a divorce under this section against a spouse who was convicted on the testimony of the other spouse.

Sec. 6.005. ABANDONMENT. The court may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse:

(1) left the complaining spouse with the intention of abandonment; and

(2) remained away for at least one year.

Where Does My Petition for Divorce Go to Start My Case?

Perhaps one of the more important questions about your divorce papers, is where do you take them to actually start your case?  Often, a person that has never been through a divorce is able to find some templates, or even pay a form company for templates (I don’t advise this, for the reasons listed here)

In Texas, the divorce case will need to be filed in the District Clerk’s Office, where you have jurisdiction to file the divorce.  You can look further into your jurisdiction options by using our jurisdiction inquiry tool.

"

This is an Example of an Agreed Divorce Petition for Divorce

This petition for divorce is an example of what Texas District Clerks will accept to start a divorce case.  Petitions for divorce will have additional contents if the divorce is contested.

2016CI09386

 

IN THE MATTER OF § IN THE DISTRICT COURT
THE MARRIAGE OF §  
________________________ §  
AND § ______ JUDICIAL DISTRICT
_________________________ §  
AND IN THE INTEREST OF §  
________________, CHILDREN §

__________ COUNTY, TEXAS

ORIGINAL PETITION FOR DIVORCE

  1. Discovery Level

Discovery in this case is intended to be conducted under level 2 of rule 190 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

  1. Parties

This suit is brought by _____________, Petitioner. The last three numbers of ________________ driver’s license number are ___. The last three numbers of ____________ Social Security number are ___.

________________ (your spouse) is Respondent.

  1. Domicile

Petitioner has been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six-month period and a resident of this county for the preceding ninety-day period.

  1. Service

No service on Respondent is necessary at this time.

  1. Protective Order Statement

No protective order under title 4 of the Texas Family Code is in effect, and no application for a protective order is pending with regard to the parties to this suit.

  1. Dates of Marriage and Separation

The parties were married on or about [insert date of marriage]  and ceased to live together as a married couple on or about [insert date of separation].

  1. Grounds for Divorce

The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities between Petitioner and Respondent that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

  1. Children of the Marriage

Petitioner and Respondent are parents of the following children of this marriage who are not under the continuing jurisdiction of any other court:

Name: ____________

Sex: Male

Birth date: ________

Name: ______________

Sex: Male

Birth date: _________

Name: _______

Sex: Male

Birth date: __________

There are no court-ordered conservatorships, court-ordered guardianships, or other court-ordered relationships affecting the children the subject of this suit.

Information required by section 154.181(b) of the Texas Family Code is available upon request.

No property of consequence is owned or possessed by the children the subject of this suit.

Petitioner believes that Petitioner and Respondent will enter into a written agreement containing provisions for conservatorship of, possession of, access to, and support of the children. If such an agreement is made, Petitioner requests that the Court approve that agreement and adopt it as the Court’s order. If such an agreement is not made, Petitioner requests the Court to make orders for conservatorship of, possession of, access to, and support of the children.

  1. Division of Community Property

Petitioner believes Petitioner and Respondent will enter into an agreement for the division of their estate. If such an agreement is made, Petitioner requests the Court to approve the agreement and divide their estate in a manner consistent with the agreement. If such an agreement is not made, Petitioner requests the Court to divide their estate in a manner that the Court deems just and right, as provided by law.

  1. Prayer

Petitioner prays that citation and notice issue as required by law and that the Court grant a divorce and all other relief requested in this petition.

Petitioner prays for general relief.

Respectfully submitted,

 

By: (signature)

Your name

"

This petition for divorce is marked up to explain the different parts.

This petition for divorce is an example of what Texas District Clerks will accept to start a divorce case.  Petitions for divorce will have additional contents if the divorce is contested.

No. _____________

(This number will be blank when you file the case.  You get the number AFTER the petition is filed)

 

IN THE MATTER OF § IN THE DISTRICT COURT
THE MARRIAGE OF §  
(Insert Your Name– You are the Petitioner) §  
AND § ______ JUDICIAL DISTRICT (Assigned After Filing)
(Insert Your Spouse’s Name) §  
AND IN THE INTEREST OF §  
________________, CHILDREN

(List children’s initials, and do not include this part if there are no children.  If ANY children were born of the wife during the marriage, the child should be listed, even if the father is not the husband of this marriage).

§

__________ COUNTY, TEXAS (Insert County Where case is filed)

ORIGINAL PETITION FOR DIVORCE

  1. Discovery Level

Discovery in this case is intended to be conducted under level 2 of rule 190 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. (The discovery level will almost always be 2)

  1. Parties

This suit is brought by _____________, Petitioner. The last three numbers of ________________ driver’s license number are ___. The last three numbers of ____________ Social Security number are ___.

________________ (your spouse) is Respondent.

  1. Domicile

Petitioner has been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six-month period and a resident of this county for the preceding ninety-day period.  (This part is establishing jurisdiction, and must be correct.  The place that the divorce can be filed is where either spouse has lived for 6 months.  If there are children, it must be filed where the children have resided). WARNING: If you get this wrong, your divorce can be denied at the end.

  1. Service

No service on Respondent is necessary at this time. (Your spouse will sign a waiver of service for an agreed divorce).

  1. Protective Order Statement

No protective order under title 4 of the Texas Family Code is in effect, and no application for a protective order is pending with regard to the parties to this suit. (Agreed divorces do not include protective orders, so this line will always be here).

  1. Dates of Marriage and Separation

The parties were married on or about [insert date of marriage]  and ceased to live together as a married couple on or about [insert date of separation].

  1. Grounds for Divorce

The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities between Petitioner and Respondent that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. (This is always the grounds for agreed divorce cases).

  1. Children of the Marriage

Petitioner and Respondent are parents of the following children of this marriage who are not under the continuing jurisdiction of any other court:

Name: ____________

Sex: Male

Birth date: ________

Name: ______________

Sex: Male

Birth date: _________

Name: _______

Sex: Male

Birth date: __________

There are no court-ordered conservatorships, court-ordered guardianships, or other court-ordered relationships affecting the children the subject of this suit.

Information required by section 154.181(b) of the Texas Family Code is available upon request.  (Section 154.181(b) requests information pertaining to health insurance for the children.)

No property of consequence is owned or possessed by the children the subject of this suit.

Petitioner believes that Petitioner and Respondent will enter into a written agreement containing provisions for conservatorship of, possession of, access to, and support of the children. If such an agreement is made, Petitioner requests that the Court approve that agreement and adopt it as the Court’s order. If such an agreement is not made, Petitioner requests the Court to make orders for conservatorship of, possession of, access to, and support of the children.

  1. Division of Community Property

Petitioner believes Petitioner and Respondent will enter into an agreement for the division of their estate. If such an agreement is made, Petitioner requests the Court to approve the agreement and divide their estate in a manner consistent with the agreement. If such an agreement is not made, Petitioner requests the Court to divide their estate in a manner that the Court deems just and right, as provided by law.

  1. Prayer

Petitioner prays that citation and notice issue as required by law and that the Court grant a divorce and all other relief requested in this petition.

Petitioner prays for general relief.

Respectfully submitted,

 

By: (signature)

Your name

Your Address

We would be honored to handle your Divorce for You.