Updated Sept 23, 2021

How to Get a Divorce in Texas for Free

Uncover the best methods and resources for getting a divorce in Texas for free. Learn about low-cost alternatives to hiring a divorce lawyer in Texas.

#Free divorce papers

#Cheap divorce

#Low-cost divorce

How to Get a Divorce in Texas for Free

Getting an entirely free divorce in Texas is not an easy task. It comes with a significant investment of time and effort but is definitely worth the try.

Since the average cost to end a marriage is at least a few thousand dollars, finding ways to reduce legal expenses is a priority for many people.

Let’s talk about how to get a divorce in Texas for free in greater detail below.

How to Do Your Own Divorce in Texas for Free

Divorce costs primarily consist of lawyer’s fees and court costs. For example, an average Texas attorney charges about $260-$320 per hour. Multiplied by many hours, the total amount can be a heavy financial burden for many Americans.

Even amicable cases can cost about $1,500. Therefore, an uncontested divorce in Texas may only be cheap when spouses prepare for it without hiring lawyers.

The other main part of expenses is various court costs. For instance, a spouse filing their case with the district clerk will need to pay a filing fee. Its amount differs from county to county and can be as high as $300.

That being said, there are two ways to get a cheap divorce in Texas - avoid lawyers and reduce court costs.

If a couple is willing to draft the legal paperwork without hiring a divorce attorney and request a waiver of the filing fee, they have a chance to get a divorce at no cost.

When Can You Proceed Without a Lawyer?

Every person can represent themselves at their marriage dissolution hearing. However, it is not a safe path for couples with severe disputes, substantial property, or a history of domestic violence.

A lawyer is unnecessary in the following circumstances:

the spouses have little or no property in both their names;

there are no children to the marriage;

the spouses choose no-fault grounds to end their marriage;

the couple agrees on the terms of property division and child-related issues, such as custody arrangements and support;

the spouses are not experiencing overwhelming emotions affecting the process.

On the contrary, couples who cannot resolve their disputes independently should either try mediation or go to trial and leave all decisions to the judge.

Self-representation in such cases is almost impossible and will not likely bring positive results.

How to Waive Court Fees?

A person who cannot pay the court fees can ask the judge to waive them.

Sometimes, the court allows a petitioner to pay them at a later date. A petitioner must file an Affidavit of Indigency to request a fee waiver.

In this document, they must confirm their inability to afford the court costs.

Usually, this option is available to people with low income who receive government entitlements based on indigency.

They include:

Food stamps;


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

Emergency Assistance;

Public housing;

SSI, CHIP, VIC, etc.

The Affidavit also includes information about free legal aid representation. The petitioner must indicate all their sources of income and do the same for the other spouse.

After the clerk receives the affidavit, they schedule a hearing where the judge will review the request and decide whether to waive the court costs.

Papers to Start Agreed Divorce in Texas

The cheapest way to get a divorce in Texas is to prepare all the necessary papers without a lawyer. However, it can be challenging because of the numerous nuances in family law not familiar to an ordinary person.

The petitioner should file their lawsuit in either the district court or the county court of law. The Texas Supreme Court also allows filing the papers electronically through the e-filing system.

When the clerk takes the papers, they either accept or return them due to errors. And they cannot give any legal advice.

Therefore, mistakes in the documents will result in delays and add more stress for the filing spouse.

Below are a few standard forms required to start a marriage dissolution process:

Petition. The document that starts the marriage dissolution process is called the Original Petition for Divorce.

Waiver of Citation. In uncontested matters, a non-filing spouse usually signs a Waiver of Citation. It is basically an equivalent of the Respondent’s Answer filed in contested cases.

Final Decree. A judge will look through the decree and sign it at the court hearing

VSU-165 Form. This document has a purely statistical purpose.

Affidavit for proof-up of agreed divorce. It contains a series of statements that need to be signed and notarized.

DIY Divorce

One way to get a free divorce in Texas is the do-it-yourself method, where spouses do not hire lawyers for legal representation. Those spouses who can find all the divorce forms and fill them out correctly will have an affordable divorce in Texas.

Free divorce papers in Texas are available at the state government website or the clerk’s office. However, this method has one downside. Neither the website nor the court officials explain what specific papers a petitioner should use for their case.

Instead, they provide only general forms for all kinds of circumstances and leave the filing party to determine what documents to choose.

Online Divorce

Another way to lower costs is to use online services. Their main goal is to provide their clients with divorce papers at a relatively low price. The offer also may include filing instructions and customer support, depending on the company.

The process of getting completed ready-to-file forms using online services is fairly straightforward. First, a person must answer a few questions to check eligibility to use the website.

For example, the candidate would be asked if they know their spouse’s location and whether they agree on all issues.

Next, a person has to create an account and proceed with the online interview. It’s a series of questions that the system uses to complete the forms. The questionnaire does not take a lot of time if the spouses have negotiated in advance or can do it in good faith in the process.

A few days after the questionnaire is completed, the client receives a package of documents and can take it to the district or county court.

Eligibility for online services

1.The couple meets the Texas residency requirements.

One spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months and at least 90 days in the county where the petition is to be filed to meet residency requirements. If the petitioner is not a Texas resident, they have to file the lawsuit in the county where the respondent lives.

2.The spouses agree on all issues.

Online services are available only for uncontested cases. It means that the couple should resolve their conflicts before going any further. The primary issues they need to consider are property division, child custody, child support, and alimony.

Free Legal Aid Services

Legal aid agencies can sometimes provide low-cost or no-cost divorce assistance in Texas to people who live below the poverty level. However, these non-profit organizations do not handle all cases.

Instead, they usually help with domestic violence and specific family law issues that can pose severe consequences for a person’s life and well-being.

Those who cannot get legal aid because their income is not low enough can ask the Texas State Bar association for a lawyer referral. They can also look for an inexpensive family law attorney in the referral directory available at the government websites.

But, again, they won’t be able to help with all types of marriage dissolution cases.

Ultimate Low-Cost Divorce Option in Texas

The most efficient way to reduce divorce costs for amicable cases is by using online services.

At TexasOnlineDivorce.com, we understand the hardships of couples with financial difficulties. That’s why we have created a platform to generate paperwork for spouses with amicable divorces at a low price.

Our online process is easy to understand and use. Plus, it’s very convenient and fast. Our clients receive all the papers in just two days after providing us with the necessary information about their case

TexasOnlineDivorce.com combines the absence of a lawyer and high-quality documents leaving no room for errors or delays.

# Free divorce papers

# Cheap divorce

# Low-cost divorce