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How to File for Divorce in Travis County

If you are a resident of Travis County and have decided to file for divorce, Travis County divorce law says that you or your spouse must live in the state for at least six months and in the county for at least 90 days before filing. Bringing your paperwork to the Travis County Family Law District Court begins the legal process.

The main document that you'll have to file with the Travis County divorce court is the original petition for divorce. It asks the court to officially end your marriage. In the petition, you and your spouse will be referred to as petitioner and respondent. The petitioner is the one who files the petition with the Travis County Clerk.

You should hire a lawyer before you file for divorce in Travis County, even if you and your spouse agree about how to split your belongings and custody of your children. (This is called a no-contest divorce.) In Texas, you can either file for a no-fault divorce or a grounds divorce. The no-contest divorce may be granted if there are "irreconcilable differences" in the marriage, and a grounds divorce blames the failure of the marriage on one party.

Grounds for Divorce in Travis County

The reasons that may be grounds for divorce in Travis County include:

  • Adultery. If one spouse has committed adultery, the court may grant a divorce in favor of the other spouse.
  • Cruelty. If one spouse is found guilty of cruel treatment that makes it impossible to live together, the court may grant divorce on grounds of cruelty.
  • Felony. If one spouse has been convicted of a felony, or has been in prison for at least a year, the court may grant a divorce on grounds of felony.
  • Living apart. If you and your spouse have lived apart for three years or more, the court may be able to grant a divorce on grounds of living apart.
  • Abandonment. If one spouse has remained away for at least a year, a divorce on the grounds of abandonment may be granted.

For your divorce to be valid, your spouse must be notified that you have filed for divorce. You will need proof for the court that the notice has been served. If your spouse cannot be found, then you have to publish a notice of divorce in a newspaper. However, it is preferable to have the papers served in person.