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In Texas how long are divorce papers good for?

Houston, TX |
Filed under: Family law

My wife and I have not lived together for over 3 years. I had my divorce papers filled out online and had my wife sign them 2 years ago. The papers are notorized already. Could I still file the same papers?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Probably not, because these papers would need to relate to a specific, filed court case. I would assume that even if you filed for divorce a couple of years ago, but then didn't do anything else with the case, it's long since been thrown out, and I'm not really sure from what you said that you have ever even filed anything with a court to date. If you file the divorce petition after the signature date of these "papers" (I'm not sure whether you mean a waiver of service, an agreed divorcee decree, or both), you're going to need to first provide her with a copy of the current, filed petition, either by formal service of process or informally and get a waiver of service from her, and THEN obtain her signature on whatever court documents are involved.

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Asker

Posted

she has already signed everything and the papers are full fledged divorce papers. Everything has been signed already by myself and her and a notary. But we never put a date on anything. does that change anything?

M Elizabeth Gunn

M Elizabeth Gunn

Posted

If you've got a valid notarization, it is very definitely dated, and none of it's valid unless it was signed after receipt of a filed petition and reflects the information for that specific case. Think about it: if that wern't true, you could have made her sign paperwork granting you a divorce before you were even married, and just kept the paperwork until you felt like doing something with it, at which point she would no longer have any say over what the terms of the divorce were. Texas law does not permit that.

Asker

Posted

yes...nothing has been filed yet. So in short the answer to my question is "no". Elizabeth: How much would you charge me to draw up new papers, and I can I come in and speak with you about this? I ask because I see your in Galveston and I live in Clear Lake.

M Elizabeth Gunn

M Elizabeth Gunn

Posted

If you'd like to send me an email (click on my name to get to my profile and I think the address is either listed there or there's some kind of "send a message" link), I'd be happy to talk to you about it. It woukd help if you could include in your email some basic information about whether you have any minor children, whether there's any marital property beyond personal possessions neither of you is interested in fussing over (remember it's still potential community property even if acquired after separation), and just a general overview of your marriage and reasons for the split. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted

If everything is the same and she still agrees to all the terms then possibly, but with the passage of time you may want to update them.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family & criminal law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-377-6828. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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