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Divorce: From Filing to Finalizing – Part 1

Divorce From Filing to Finalizing

Divorce may be a common part of mainstream culture today, but most people do not know what to expect after they file for divorce from their spouse. A lot goes on in between the time you file for divorce and when the case is finalized. This multi-part blog series takes an in-depth look at the general components of a contested divorce:

  1. File Petition
  2. Service of Process
  3. Temporary Restraining Order
  4. Response
  5. Temporary Orders hearing
  6. Discovery
  7. Mediation
  8. Trial
  9. Prove Up

1. File Petition

  • The petition for divorce is usually filed in a court located in the county where one spouse resides. The spouse that files the petition for divorce is called the “Petitioner.” The other spouse will be the “Respondent.”
  • The petition for divorce contains information about the spouses, their marriage, grounds for divorce, their children if any, and their property.
  • The petition also includes information about what the filing spouse wants from the divorce: division of property, child support, spousal support, and reimbursement claims are some of the potential provisions that can be included in the petition for divorce.
  • In Texas, parties cannot be legally divorced until sixty days have passed since the Petitioner filed the lawsuit. This is called the “cooling off period” or waiting period.

2. Service of Process

  • The other spouse, the “Respondent,” is entitled to receive notice that the petition for divorce has been filed. In a contested divorce, a private process server will personally deliver the petition for divorce to the Respondent. This is referred to as “service of process.”
  • The temporary restraining orders, which will be discussed in-depth in the next installment, last 14 days and set temporary rules to keep the parties, children, and their property safe.

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