If you consider filing divorce in Harris County, please note that you should meet the residency requirements of the state. At least one of the spouses must be a Texas resident for 6 months and live in Harris County for a minimum of 90 days prior to filing a divorce. If this requirement is met, you may follow these steps to divorce in Harris county:
- Prepare the divorce forms required for your case.
- File the Original Petition with the court along with other required forms.
- Pay the filing fee unless you qualify for a waiver. If you do, you may file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs.
- Take a copy of the divorce papers you filed and serve the other spouse via a professional process server, sheriff, or constable. If the spouses are cooperative and don’t have any disagreements, the respondent can sign a waiver of service in the presence of a notary. The respondent must file the answer or the waiver to the Original Petition or a counter-petition within a 20-day period.
- When the location of the respondent is unknown, and an attempt to locate them was not successful, there is an option of the service by publication. It is rather hard to obtain a permission to do it, and you should inquire about this option in your local court.
- Complete the financial disclosure process by exchanging financial information with your spouse.
- Wait a mandatory 60-day waiting period. The exception to this rule is if one of the spouses has been convicted of domestic violence or you have certain protective orders against them.
- File the rest of the paperwork and attend the final hearing, where the judge will review and sign the Final Divorce Decree.
- Finalize the divorce by filing the signed decree with the clerk and serving the copy to the other spouse.
Note that the steps might differ slightly depending on a specific case, the paperwork you file, and the reliefs you request.
Harris County Divorce Forms
To start the divorce process, the petitioner must file the Original Petition for Divorce Harris County together with other forms with the court. The main factors that impact the list of the documents needed for the court are:
- If the divorce is contested or uncontested
- If spouses have minor children together.
If you file a no-fault uncontested divorce in Harris County, the starting forms include:
- Original Petition for Divorce
- Civil Case Information Sheet
- Waiver of Service, signed before a notary or an Answer to a Petition
- Required Initial Disclosures
- Harris County Divorce Decree
- Possession Orders if spouses have children under 18
It is very important to choose a proper set of forms, as each divorce is different and requires accurate paperwork. If a couple cannot resolve some divorce-related issues, like property division or child support, each spouse needs to hire a lawyer to represent them in court and prepare the documents.
When spouses have reached a full agreement on all the issues, they qualify for an uncontested divorce and can represent themselves in court without a lawyer. In this case, it is recommended to use a trustful online divorce service to get all the necessary forms that would already be filled out. Once you complete an online questionnaire, you will receive up-to-date personalized forms together with further instructions on how to file them with the court. Our service will greatly save you time as you will not need to do all the paperwork by yourself.
Harris County Divorce Filing Fee
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the Harris County divorce filing fees are around $300. It is always best to verify the exact price and the methods of payments that are accepted at the clerk’s office. There might be other expenses related to serving the spouse or making copies.
When a petitioner cannot afford to pay the filing fees, they may ask for the court for a financial relief. The court will check the financial situation of the person and may approve the request.
Where to File for Divorce in Harris County
There are several options for filing for divorce in Harris County. The first one is to do it online, and you may inquire about it via a call to the clerk. If you decide to file for divorce in person, you need to visit Harris County divorce court:
Divorce Courts in Harris County, Texas
Court Name: District Court
Judge Name: Judge Mike D. Miller
Clerk Name: Chris Daniel
Court Address: 201 Caroline, Houston, Texas 77002
Clerk Hours: 8am-5pm