The legal document that initiates a divorce in Texas is known as a “Petition for Divorce.” The Petition for Divorce is the second most important document (behind the Divorce Decree) in the entire divorce process. Failure to include the proper information in the Petition for Divorce could delay the divorce process and result in additional stress. Fortunately, preparing and filing a Petition for Divorce in Texas is  simple with our 2-step DIY divorce forms.

Establishing Jurisdiction and Venue

When filing a Petition for Divorce in Texas, you will need to disclose some information to establish that the state and county are the proper jurisdiction and venue. Jurisdiction relates to the state that has the power to grant a divorce, and venue relates to the specific court or county where the divorce should be granted.

The Petition will need to inform the court that either you and/or your spouse have been residents of Texas for the last six months. Texas courts will not have jurisdiction to dissolve a marriage unless at least one of the spouses has lived in Texas for a minimum of six months.

You’ll also need to include a clause that establishes venue. Once jurisdiction (the proper state) is established in the Petition for Divorce, you will need to establish that the county in which the Petition is to be filed is the proper county (AKA “venue”). A particular county is proper venue if at least one of the spouses has resided in said county for the last 90 days.

It is entirely possible that multiple states have jurisdiction to grant your divorce and multiple counties would be a proper venue. The Petitioner gets to decide where to file the divorce, but the facts in the Petition for Divorce must establish that the Petitioner’s choice is proper.

Citing Legal Grounds for Divorce

Part of filing a Petition for Divorce in Texas involves citing the grounds for divorce. Texas law allows you to file for either an “at-fault’ or “no-fault” divorce. All uncontested divorces are “no-fault” divorces, and the Petition for Divorce will state that the marriage has become insupportable as a direct result of discord or conflict between the Petitioner and Respondent.

Whether your spouse agrees with the reasons you cite for the breakdown of your marriage will determine if your divorce will be contested or uncontested. Uncontested divorce cases can be filed online using our do-it-yourself online divorce forms. Spouses in contested divorce cases can benefit from participating in mediation to resolve their differences outside of court.

Identifying Children and Assets

A Petition for Divorce will also have sections reserved for information regarding your marital estate and any children born to the marriage, including a section to indicate whether a spouse in the marriage is pregnant at the time of filing for divorce.

Requesting a Name Change

You can also include a request for a legal name change (back to the name you had prior to getting married) in a Petition for Divorce provided the requested change is not in an effort to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution.

Filing a Petition for Divorce in Texas Online

With our easy-to-use online divorce forms, you can effectively initiate your divorce with ease. Download our DIY divorce kit to file a Petition for Divorce in Texas.