A divorce may be granted without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
A divorce may not be granted until 60 days after the date the suit was filed. However, a court may waive this waiting period in cases involving family violence.
The spouses may enter into a written agreement concerning the division of property and the conservatorship and support of their children. If the court finds the agreement is just and right, it may be approved and set forth in the decree of divorce or annulment.
A mediated settlement agreement is binding on the parties if it provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is in boldfaced type or capital letters or underlined, that the agreement is not subject to revocation, is signed by each party to the agreement, and is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is present at the time the agreement is signed.
In an uncontested divorce, a 'prove-up' hearing is required for the court to finalize the divorce. During this hearing, one or both spouses will confirm the essential elements of their agreement on the record, allowing the judge to grant the divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, the respondent may sign a waiver of citation, acknowledging receipt of the divorce petition without formal service. The waiver must be sworn before a notary public who is not an attorney in the suit.
The respondent in a divorce suit must file a written answer on or before the Monday following the expiration of 20 days after service, unless the parties have agreed otherwise in writing or the respondent has signed a waiver of citation.
If a respondent fails to file an answer by the required deadline, the court may render a default judgment granting the divorce and other relief requested by the petitioner. However, in an uncontested divorce, both parties typically participate and agree to the terms, making a default judgment unlikely.
28 U.S.C. § 1332 grants federal district courts jurisdiction over civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between citizens of different states. In the context of divorce, this statute is rarely invoked because divorce is typically a matter of state law. However, if a divorce case involves parties from different states and meets the financial threshold, it could theoretically be heard in federal court. It is important to note that federal courts generally defer to state courts in matters of family law, including divorce.
28 U.S.C. § 1738, also known as the Full Faith and Credit Clause, mandates that judicial proceedings and judgments of each state shall be given full faith and credit in every other state within the United States. This means that once a divorce decree is finalized in one state, other states are required to recognize it as valid. This is particularly important in uncontested divorces where the parties may reside in or move to different states after the divorce is finalized. The statute ensures that the terms of the divorce, such as property division, spousal support, and child custody arrangements, are upheld across state lines.