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Navigating the first step in your contested divorce like a pro

Navigating the first step in your contested divorce like a pro

  • February 5th, 2021
  • Cheryl McGirr
  • Comments Off on Navigating the first step in your contested divorce like a pro

Divorce – The First Step in your Divorce

Have you found yourself asking the question, “What is my first step in filing for divorce?” The first step is to determine where and when you can file for divorce. For example, to file in Texas, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Texas for at least six months and a resident of the county where they want to file for at least 90 days. 

The Original Petition for Divorce is the first formal document to be filed if you are seeking a divorce. The person who files is called the Petitioner. One copy of the Original Petition must go to the Respondent (the other spouse), who must then file an Answer.  This can be accomplished informally, but most often is accomplished through issuance and service of citation.  

Your spouse will need to be served with the Original Petition for Divorce. There are several options for serving and notifying your spouse of the Original Petition for Divorce. You can hire a private process server or constable who will serve your spouse.  

Navigating any aspect of your divorce can be challenging, but the beginning can be the most difficult.

Another option is for the Respondent to sign a Waiver of Service.  Your spouse will need to sign a Waiver of Service document which acknowledges that they have received a copy of the filed petition. A Waiver of Service waives any right your spouse has to be formally served with notice of the divorce lawsuit. Waiver of Service does not mean that future court-appearances or other deadlines do not have to be provided to your spouse. The Waiver of Service shows that he or she acknowledges the divorce and is informing the court that he or she has been effectively notified of the proceedings. Both options let the court know that the Respondent received the Petition. 

Our very own Miranda Fields posits, “The steps after that vary as widely as the number of couples seeking a divorce, but they do all start in the same way – with the Petition.”

The steps after that vary as widely as the number of couples seeking a divorce, but they do all start in the same way – with the Petition.” 

Miranda Fields

If this all seems too overwhelming for you, remember that you are not alone. We are here to answer your questions or walk you through the whole divorce…step by step. In fact, you can text us right now if you have any questions; simply return to the home page and use our new text/chat feature to ask us.

Divorcio – el primer paso  

¿Cuál es el primer paso en un divorcio? 

El primer paso es determinar donde y cuando puede entablar la demanda de divorcio.  Uno de los cónyuges debe de haber sido un residente de Texas por lo menos 6 meses y un residente del condado en el cual quieren asentar la demanda por lo menos 90 días antes de hacerlo. 

La demanda original es el primer documento.  A la persona que entabla la demanda se le conoce como solicitante.  Una copia de la petición original es para el demandado (el otro cónyuge), quien debe de asentar una contestación.  La entrega de la demanda se puede hacer informalmente pero normalmente se hace por medio de emisión y notificación del procedimiento.  

La notificación del procedimiento debe hacerse.  Hay diferentes maneras para hacerlo – puede ocupar los servicios de un alguacil o contratar a un profesional particular.   

Otra opción es que el demandado rechace la notificación. Su cónyuge deberá de firmar un documento llamado Rechazo de Notificación en el cual reconoce que ha recibido una copia de la demanda.   Al hacer esto, su cónyuge está rechazando el derecho de ser notificado formalmente.  Pero, tiene que notificarle de cualquier audiencia o comparecencia futura.  El rechazo de notificación simplemente demuestra que él o ella reconoce que hay un divorcio en proceso y le está informando a la corte que él o ella ha sido notificado.  Ambas opciones demuestran a la corte que el demandado ha recibido la demanda.   

Los pasos a seguir varían, pero todos comienzan de la misma manera – con la demanda o petición.  

La traducción: Gilberto Solano

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