Before filing for divorce in Smith County, you need to make sure you are eligible to do so. There are two main requirements that either you or your spouse should meet:
- Live in the county for at least 90 days.
- Live in Texas for at least 6 months.
As long as any of you meets both of these requirements, you may divorce in Smith County. Otherwise, you will not be considered a resident, and the local court will not review your case. It would be necessary to either wait or get divorced in the county where you or your spouse live.
How to File for Divorce in Smith County?
To file for uncontested divorce in Smith County, you may:
- Find and fill out forms relevant to your case.
- Bring your paperwork to a divorce court.
- Pay the filing fee and take the copies of the documents.
- Give a copy of the paperwork you filed to your spouse.
- Ask that your spouse signs the Answer or Waiver and a Decree.
- Get a hearing date after a state-mandated 60-day waiting period.
- Take the final paperwork with you to the court and attend the hearing.
- File the Decree with a clerk after the judge signs it.
If you have children who received Medicaid or TANF, you will also have to mail the copy of the Petition you filed to the Child Support Division of the Office of Attorney General. You will have to prove you did it when finalizing your case, so request a return receipt when mailing the form.
You will need a lawyer to represent you if you are filing on a fault basis, such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, for instance. The same goes for a no-fault marriage dissolution when you and your spouse do not blame each other for the breakdown of your marriage but are not in agreement on how to divide your assets and take care of your children.
Smith County Divorce Forms
The package of documents you will need for a Smith County divorce will mainly depend on whether you have children under 18 and whether your spouse will contest the case.
If there is a chance you can come to an agreement or you have already reached it, here are some of the Smith County divorce papers you may need:
- Original Petition for Divorce in Smith County
- Civil Case Information Sheet
- Answer or Waiver of Service
- Information on Suit Affecting Family Relationship
- Standard or Modified Possession Order if you have children
- Divorce Decree for Smith County
Note that the forms you require will vary depending on what you would want a court to do and the family circumstances. For example, if you or your spouse would like to get back to using the maiden name, you will have to file an Order with a request to restore it.
To fill out divorce papers correctly, you will have to read each question to make sure it applies to your case before you answer it. It is worth paying special attention to sections with numbers and calculations, as they are the easiest to make mistakes in.
Signing the forms right after you are done filling them in might not be the best option. Taking time to review them and checking whether you should sign them in front of the notary might save you from having to refill the paperwork.
Smith County Divorce Filing Fees
The Smith County clerk filing fees are around $300. There might be other court fees, such as those for making copies or serving your spouse, if you need it.
As the rates are susceptible to change and vary across the state and counties, it might be worth knowing the exact sum before bringing your case to court.
To inquire about the fees, contact the clerk of the district court where you plan to file. You may also want to ask about the means of payment they accept and whether their work hours remain the same.
If you cannot afford to pay the fees, you may request relief from court by filing a Statement form. The judge will review it to decide whether your financial situation is dire enough to grant relief.
Divorce Courts in Smith County, Texas
Deciding where to file for divorce in Smith County, you need to understand that not all courts review marriage dissolution cases. Therefore, it would be necessary to find a family law courthouse and submit your paperwork there. Here is a divorce court in Smith County that you may bring your case to:
Divorce Courts in Smith County, Texas
Court Name: 7th District Court
Judge Name: Judge Kerry L. Russell
Clerk Name: Lois Rogers
Court Address: 100 N. Broadway, Room 203, Tyler, Texas 75702
Who can help fill out divorce papers? A lawyer for a few thousand dollars or our service for only $139! Pass a 1-minute check to see if you can get cheap help with your uncontested divorce in Smith County.
Erin Bensen is a relationship expert and a writer known for her articles on love and marriage. Being a paralegal, she also writes about divorce and the procedures around it. Erin regularly contributes to Modern Love Counseling and other divorce blogs, offering practical advice and support. Right now, Erin is working on her personal podcast, where she intends to discuss the complexities of relationships and help couples considering divorce.