What is a Texas prove up?

A Texas prove up is a short hearing to present testimony to the Judge on an uncontested issue or an agreement between the parties.  It can be used on a specific issue or hearing and it can be used to conclude a divorce if an agreement on all of the issues has been reached and the husband and wife have an agreed final decree of divorce to be entered.

If the prove up hearing is being used at the end of the divorce to enter an agreed final decree usually only one party and their attorney will appear in court.  The prove up will usually only last a few minutes.  The attorney will have the signed decree and present it to the Judge for his or her review and signature while the testimony occurs.  The spouse appearing will be sworn in by the Judge and be asked questions by their lawyer so that they can testify.  Testifying is telling the Court the required information for the Judge to grant the divorce, under oath.  It is not as formal as a contested hearing and most of my clients say it is not as bad as they thought it would be.  The questions the attorney will ask their client for the testimony are generally all questions that are easy to answer, for example ‘Sally Smith, are you married to Stan Smith?’ and ‘Are there any children that were born or adopted during your marriage?’  When the testimony has finished and the Judge has signed the decree the divorce has been granted.  After the prove up, the last step is for the attorney to take the decree to the District Clerk and finish all the details.

Most courts in Denton County are available for prove ups in the morning before they start their regular docket.  And, even though prove ups are less formal, remember the same general rules apply for all court appearances for dress, appearance and behavior.  If you aren’t sure if what you are wearing will be acceptable, a good rule is to ask yourself if you would wear it to church.  If the answer is no, find something you would wear to church.  Cell phones should always be off before you enter the courtroom.  And, always stand when the Judge enters or leaves the courtroom.

These tips can be helpful, but you are best served by hiring a family lawyer.

Jill O’Connell, 940-497-4545