In Texas, an agreed divorce must be finalized with a prove-up hearing. This is the very last step in the divorce process. Once the parties have agreed to terms, one side will prepare the final decree of divorce. Both parties will sign the decree, and one side (usually the petitioner) will attend the prove-up hearing. It is not necessary for the other party to attend, and it is extremely rare for that to happen.
The prove-up hearing lasts only a few minutes. First, the attorney will present the proposed decree to the judge, and the judge will swear the client in. The attorney will then ask a standard list of questions to the client in front of the judge. These questions are almost all “yes” or “no” questions such as “Were you married on or about July 20, 2009 and did you cease to live together as husband and wife on or about January 15, 2014?” and “Have you agreed as to a division of your property and debts?”. Cases involving children or a name change have additional questions beyond the standard divorce questions.
After the attorney completes the list of questions, the judge will grant the divorce and sign the decree and another other necessary documents, such as an income withholding order for child support. The divorce is now final.
In Dallas County, each court has specific days and times each week when prove-up hearings are held. You do not need to prove up your case in the same court where your case was filed. Any Dallas County district judge can hear the prove-up. In Collin County, prove-ups usually happen in the Auxiliary Court. You can show up at any time during regular hours for a prove up in the Auxiliary Court. (If you are attempting to handle your divorce without an attorney, you may need to do prove-ups on a more specific schedule.)