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What are my next steps to filing for my spouse whose incarcerated?

Hillsboro, TX |

Ive sent him the petition for divorce and hes signed of PA and affidavit of indigence so that I can file on his behalf what are my next steps ? They have no property together and shes agreed to the divorce , but what will she need to sign ? the waiver of service or an answer ? and do I file her answer with the petition ? Also whats the difference between a petition and a decree ?

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Attorney answers 2


Your question is confusing. To file for divorce, one of the spouses needs to file a Petition for Divorce and have the other party served or the other party must sign a waiver of service/citation (dated AFTER the petition is filed). Then you would need to draft a Final Decree of Divorce for the spouses signature. One of the parties would need to appear in court to "prove up" or finalize the divorce before a judge. You cannot finalize for 60 days after the petition is filed. I hope this answers your questions. the petition is a document that starts the lawsuit. The final decree is the order stating you are divorced.


Your question lacks some basic information to allow a thorough answer. When you suggest your spouse is incarcerated, but later advise that you have sent HIM a petition for divorce and then that SHE agreed to the divorce, it is very confusing. One can only be married to one person in Texas at a time, and this sounds as though there is either a three-way marriage, or you are writing on behalf of another couple.

As has been suggested, the basic steps for divorce in Texas are residency for six months in the state and three months in a county where you will file a suit for divorce. The other spouse must sign an answer, which tells the Court that he/she is aware that suit has been filed and that he/she has appeared in the suit. The suit must be on file for sixty days, whereupon a proposed Final Decree of Divorce (i.e. an order granting the divorce) should be submitted to the Court for signature, signed by both spouses (indicating their approval of the proposed order). Then one of the spouses must actually appear in Court at a hearing to "prove up" the divorce, which means to offer proof that the divorce should be granted. There are very specific things that must be proven to the Court, but once this has been done, the Court should grant the divorce. Best of luck to you and your husband, or your wife, or both.

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