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Husband signed waiver, will not sign Final Decree of Divorce. We're in Texas.

Houston, TX |

I filed an uncontested divorce in Fort Bend County, Texas with children. My soon to be ex-husband signed a waiver that on one part states that the judge can make decisions without hearing his side, etc.. Now he is saying that he doesn't want to sign the final decree of divorce. Can I still go to court without his signature if he already signed that waiver?

By the way, he's doing it on purpose so that his court-mandated child support payments take longer to kick in. UPDATE (04/24/2013): I went to get my divorce finalized today. I got it approved without his signature. The waiver was sufficient. I used the form from the TX Law Help Website. My court was the 328th District Court of Fort Bend County.

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

It depends on the exact wording of your waiver. If he doesn't reserve the right to sign the order, then contact the court regarding when their uncontested prove up dates re and set it for prove up. Make sure you bring your final decree to submit to the judge at that time. Also make sure you have completed your parenting class and filed the certificate with the court.



I went to court today without his signature on the final decree and it went through-I got divorced without it. I used the waiver from the Tx Law Help Website.


You probably shouldn't rely on the terms of the waiver here, since the judge might not permit you to finalize the divorce without his signature and without a trial setting. I would contact the judge's office or court coordinator to see if they will give you some guidance here. Without knowing your specific judge, my best guess is if your husband refuses to sign the decree, you will need to set the case for a contested final hearing no less than 45 days out, making sure your husband receives notice (certified mail, return receipt requested) of the hearing date. If the case has still not been resolved by the time of trial, then you will need to ensure you are ready to present your case, evidence, and witnesses to the court at that time.

This is not legal advice. Nothing contained in this writing is intended to create, nor does it create, any attorney-client relationship. This answer is not to be considered a response to a specific legal issue in a specific jurisdiction - it is to be considered only a general response to a hypothetical scenario posed by the questioner. For specific legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.


In the local rules of some counties there is a requirement to go to mediation prior to a final hearing. If your husband doesn't agree to attend mediation then you may be able to file a Motion to Compel Mediation. Then, hopefully, you can work out the details of the decree. If you don't reach an agreement, then you'll need to have a hearing.


I agree with both of my colleagues here. I just want to add one wrinkle. It's been my experience that judges will be more reluctant to sign off on a decree with a waiver when there are children involved. The reason being that they would rather finalize things now rather than have Dad file something to reopen the case because they feel like they got taken. What no one here can tell you is if your pro se (I'm assuming you don't have a lawyer) petition, waiver or decree meets all the requirements of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Family Code. You should see a lawyer.


Your best bet is to have an attorney look at your documents to see if the court is likely to approve them "as is." If your husband signed a full waiver (meaning he waived his right to be notified of a learning), then he wouldn't need to sign the Final Decree. If he didn't waive his right, you will either have to proceed to a contested hearing or attend mediation depending on your particular jurisdiction and judge.

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