Tarrant County and Getting an Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorces, and divorces in general, must be filed in a court that has jurisdiction to hear the uncontested divorce. Although an uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agreed to all the terms of the divorce, the parties cannot agree to give a court jurisdiction it does not have by law. In Tarrant County, all uncontested divorces go to the district courts in downtown Fort Worth designated as a family court.
The family courts in Tarrant County hear divorces, most custody issues and generally issues under the Texas Family Code. No other court in Tarrant County can grant a divorce. Parties file uncontested divorces with the Tarrant County District Clerk to go to a Tarrant County Family District Court. Even divorce lawyers in Tarrant County follow the same rules and must file our cases with the district clerk to ensure they go to the right courts.
Uncontested divorce in Fort Worth, Bedford and other parts of Tarrant County
In addition to ensuring the uncontested divorce is filed with the right courts in Tarrant County, the parties must make sure that Tarrant County is the right county to file their uncontested divorce. A district court in Tarrant County may only hear a divorce if at least one of the spouses has lived in Texas for the last six months and within Tarrant County within the last ninety days. These are jurisdictional requirements that give the district court jurisdiction over the parties.
The standard for whether a party has resided in Tarrant County comes with a specific, legal definition but for general purposes the standard is what you would expect. Look at where the party sleeps, receives mail, states as an address, maintains personal property and so forth. Both parties do not have to reside in Tarrant County for the uncontested divorce but at least one must. It is not enough for one of the parties to hire a divorce lawyer in Tarrant County. The law firm’s office location has no effect on the court’s jurisdiction over the parties.
Is the uncontested divorce in Bedford, Fort Worth, Arlington, or other parts of Tarrant County?
It’s particularly important to confirm the address of each party through official county property records, especially when the parties live in cities on the edge of Tarrant County. The north Texas region is increasingly seamless as you move from one town to the next. You won’t know you have crossed county lines unless you happen to cross a major street or highway. There are many suburbs that split county lines across Tarrant County and the neighboring county. You could live on a street where one end is in Tarrant County and the other is in another county. Grapevine is a good example of this. Grapevine spans Tarrant County, Denton County and Dallas County. Two people living in Grapevine could be in different counties and not even realize it. At least not until it becomes an issue in their uncontested divorce.
The same is true for other border towns like Southlake, Trophy Club, Keller and so forth. Even Fort Worth spans outside of Tarrant County, particularly in the area around Keller. There are also small portions of border towns in the neighboring counties that have small portions within Tarrant County. Grand Prairie is a good example. For people who own homes it is easier to know the county if you pay property taxes to the county. If you rent a house or apartment then you may not have a good idea.
Identifying the Tarrant County address for the uncontested divorce with a Fort Worth or Bedford divorce attorney
The residence of the parties can play important roles in some types of lawsuits. In uncontested divorces it generally only plays a role in determining where to file the uncontested divorce. If neither party lived in Tarrant County and later a party has a change of heart then the absence of jurisdiction can undo the divorce. There is no good reason to leave that door open because one party filed the uncontested divorce in the wrong county. File it in the right place the first time.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce in Tarrant County or surrounding counties then you should contact my Bedford, Texas office to learn more about how I can help make your divorce a simple process for you.