Your questions are basic, but critical to the successful conclusion of this process. Your questions also highlight why should not be doing this without representation. Most attorneys will prepare your decree and complete the process for a flat fee. If you are determined to handle this yourself, go to the law library at the courthouse. The librarian will not give you legal advice, but will direct you to the correct information and books which will contain the information you are seeking. Many courthouse law libraries have a packet for pro-se default divorces.
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It sounds like since your husband did not answer you will need to submit the proper documents to prove up a default judgment. However, you will want to ensure, he was served by a constable or private process server, that he did not respond in the time required, and that the return of service has been on file with the Court for at least 10 days.
For a default divorce, you will need a divorce decree, certificate of last known address, and sailor's & soldier's affidavit. As the previous answer suggested, you can hire an attorney to prepare these documents and finish the process for you, or you can go to the local law library and photocopy examples of these documents, that you can take home and re-type.
There are requirements that must be met in order to finalize a divorce. When you prove-up a divorce, you are essentially reading out to the court that you have met these requirements. I believe the 309th district court in Harris County has an example of the prove-up questions you will ask yourself when you go in front of the judge. Or you can obtain them from the law library.
All answers are provided for informational purposes only. Tiffany Harvey is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and in no other state, and all answers provided by Tiffany Harvey on AVVO are based only on her knowledge of Texas law and not on the laws of any other jurisdiction. Furthermore, nothing contained in any answer on AVVO by Tiffany Harvey constitutes legal advice, and should not be construed as such. Finally, Tiffany Harvey responding to a posted question on AVVO is not intended to, nor does it, create an attorney client relationship.
I agree with the other 2 attorneys answers. Both are excellent answers.
Now here is my 2 cents!
I have answered the BVS answer on my blog - www.txfamilylaw4u.blogspot.com
Since the BVS form is required to complete a divorce in Harris County, you must complete the form.
In most courts in Harris County, the clerk will review all of your forms before you get to stand in front of the judge. If the clerk does not think you have everything, then you can't even get in front of the judge. If the clerk is nice, the clerk can give you a "hint" of what is missing. Since the clerks are non-attorneys, they cannot give legal advice to you. Otherwise, that is practicing law without a license -- which is a felony in the State of Texas.
Check out my blog for a website that has some forms for you. Some of the Harris County judges do not like this website -- but it is free & it is better than nothing.
The Harris County Law Library is located downtown across the street from the Family Courthouse. It is free but they charge for using their copier so bring money.
If you have no money, you can always contact Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program at 713-228-0732 and/or go to their booth in the Family Courthouse basement for some guidance. You can also call one of the 3 Houston law schools and see if they will assign you a law school student through one of their legal clinics.
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