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Can a judge deny a divorce in Texas?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2022 | Blog, Divorce

While it does not happen often, yes, a Texas judge can deny you a divorce for a number of reasons.

To begin with, explains that Texas has a 2-prong residency requirement. One spouse must live in Texas for at least six months prior to the filing of a divorce petition. In addition, one spouse must live in the filing county for at least 90 days prior to the filing. If you file for divorce in Texas without either of you meeting both of these requirements, the judge likely will dismiss your divorce, i.e., deny it, and you will need to begin the divorce process anew once you and/or your spouse meet the residency requirements.

Additional denial possibilities

If you are the filing party, the judge could deny you a divorce for any of the following reasons:

  • You failed to properly serve your spouse with notice of your filing.
  • Your spouse failed to file a response to the divorce petition, and you subsequently failed to file for a default divorce.
  • You and he or she have not completed the mandatory 61-day waiting period.
  • You failed to file all the required forms.
  • You missed a hearing date.
  • Custody and parenting issues still remain.
  • Property division issues still remain.

Generally, rather than flatly denying your divorce in these situations, the judge will instead delay the finalization of it until the applicable problems have resolved themselves.


Finally, the judge can deny you a divorce for want of prosecution. Known as a DWOP, it occurs when neither you nor your spouse takes any action in the divorce for a substantial period of time. In this event, the judge likely will set a trial date for you and your spouse and your respective attorneys to appear. If neither side appears, the judge probably will dismiss the case for want of prosecution.

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