Where to file for divorce is really 3 different questions:
- What company should I hire to file my divorce (if any); and (you can file it with us of course, with another law firm, or by yourself. However, we recommend that you avoid trying to file your divorce with form companies)
- What geographic location do I need to file my divorce in? (below we provide details about how to figure this out. Most of the time you can file your divorce it in the county where you live, but please review the laws below.
- In that geographic location (city, state), what person or court or office do I need to file my divorce with? (In Texas you will file a divorce case with the District Clerk in the city where you have jurisdiction.
Here you will learn the details of where you should file your divorce in Texas.
Things to Know to Get Started
- If you do not file the divorce in the right city and state, the court must deny your divorce as a matter of law.
- In most cases, you file the divorce in the District Court of Texas, where you reside.
- You are not considered a resident until you’ve lived in Texas 6 months AND in your county for 90 days.
- As with all laws there are exceptions, which we will talk about below.
Texas Family Code- Where to File for Divorce
These are quotes taken directly from the Texas family code relating to where to legally file for divorce in Texas
JURISDICTION, VENUE, AND RESIDENCE QUALIFICATIONS
Sec. 6.301. GENERAL RESIDENCY RULE FOR DIVORCE SUIT. A suit for divorce may not be maintained in this state unless at the time the suit is filed either the petitioner or the respondent has been:
(1) a domiciliary of this state for the preceding six-month period; and
(2) a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.
Sec. 6.302. SUIT FOR DIVORCE BY NONRESIDENT SPOUSE. If one spouse has been a domiciliary of this state for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.
Sec. 6.303. ABSENCE ON PUBLIC SERVICE. Time spent by a Texas domiciliary outside this state or outside the county of residence of the domiciliary while in the service of the armed forces or other service of the United States or of this state, or while accompanying the domiciliary’s spouse in the spouse’s service of the armed forces or other service of the United States or of this state, is considered residence in this state and in that county.
(If you are in the military, then if you were previously a Texas resident, you can still file for divorce in Texas even if you are presently not living here because you are deployed)
Sec. 6.304. ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL NOT PREVIOUSLY RESIDENTS. A person not previously a resident of this state who is serving in the armed forces of the United States and has been stationed at one or more military installations in this state for at least the last six months and at a military installation in a county of this state for at least the last 90 days, or who is accompanying the person’s spouse during the spouse’s military service in those locations and for those periods, is considered to be a Texas domiciliary and a resident of that county for those periods for the purpose of filing suit for dissolution of a marriage.
Sec. 6.305. ACQUIRING JURISDICTION OVER NONRESIDENT RESPONDENT. (a) If the petitioner in a suit for dissolution of a marriage is a resident or a domiciliary of this state at the time the suit for dissolution is filed, the court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the respondent or over the respondent’s personal representative although the respondent is not a resident of this state if:
(1) this state is the last marital residence of the petitioner and the respondent and the suit is filed before the second anniversary of the date on which marital residence ended; or
You can file for divorce in the county where you and your spouse last lived together as a married couple, if your spouse lives in that county still, even if you do not live there.
(2) there is any basis consistent with the constitutions of this state and the United States for the exercise of the personal jurisdiction.
(b) A court acquiring jurisdiction under this section also acquires jurisdiction over the respondent in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.
Remember, You Haven't Filed For Divorce, Until the District Clerk Has Received Your Petition
The web is crawling with misleading ways for the public to think they have “filed for divorce” when in fact, all they have done is hired a form company to draft some documents and email them to the divorcing person. You have not started your case, until you have found the correct District Clerk, and brought that clerk your papers, paid your filing fee (usually about $300-350) and received your stamped copy that they were accepted. Until you have a time-stamped petition for divorce, you have not actually filed for divorce yet.
Did you know that we can figure out where to file your divorce for you, and then file it anywhere in Texas on your behalf, and you don’t even have to leave the house? Simply Click the File Divorce Here Button.
Can I Get a Divorce Online?
The short answer is no. There is not any way in Texas to have an entire divorce handled online, as of October, 2016.
However, almost the entire process can be handled online.
Divorce form companies (not law firms) are advertising heavily that you can get a complete divorce online, and many people are hiring these companies only to find out later that the divorce process is not handled online, rather the forms needed for the divorce are written and sent online. Read more about this here.
What Parts of a Divorce Can be Done Online in Texas?
- A divorce can be filed (started) online (but only if you file the case with a lawyer, online). Online form companies do not file the divorce, they just write the papers that need to be filed. Without a lawyer, you will have to file your divorce papers in person at the District Clerk’s Office.
- The remainder of the divorce papers can be written online.
- The questions regarding your divorce can be submitted online.
What Parts of a Divorce Cannot be Done Online in Texas?
- Your spouse will need to notarize a waiver of service. It is possible to notarize a document online, but most often documents are notarized in person.
- You will need to go to a final hearing (for agreed divorces, only one spouse has to attend the hearing) to “prove up” the divorce in front of a Judge. This cannot be done online. **However it is possible to prove up the divorce by affidavit written by your lawyer and avoid the hearing.