How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Texas?
Ask Zarka Law Firm
Depending on the state, divorces in Texas can take various timeframes. In Texas, there is a 60-day minimum waiting period between filing for a divorce and finalizing it.
Realistically speaking, this waiting period may exceed 60 days. It can take about six months to a whole year for the divorce process to be finalized for most people. The duration is sometimes dependent on the lives impacted by the divorce and the assets both spouses hold.
In cases of custody arrangements and asset distribution, the process can take a bit longer. If both parents agree to divorce, all that’s left is the filing process and waiting period, which means the marriage may be dissolved in sixty days. However, as many courts have full dockets, an uncontested divorce hearing may not be heard until after the waiting period has lapsed.
Do you need to be separated before filing for divorce in Texas?
The state doesn’t require parties to be legally or physically separated before they can file for divorce.
However, law offices recommend not separating immediately or moving out during the mandatory waiting period. Instead, they advise that couples continue spending time with their children and living in the same house to maintain their position in the household.
Do divorce petitions expire?
While divorce petitions in the state of Texas don’t expire, courts are allowed to add cases that haven’t seen activity in a while in the dismissal docket.
What is the average divorce process timeline in Texas?
To divorce an individual, you first have to decide whether you want a divorce and begin working with a lawyer to prepare the papers for divorce. Retaining the services of an experienced divorce lawyer is the next step.
When the divorce papers are ready for filing, you and the divorce lawyer will start the marriage dissolution by filing a petition requesting to dissolve the marriage in court. The petition should also include requests for alimony, child support, and division of property.
Note that either spouse can be the petitioner as long as they’ve been a resident of Texas for at least half a year and have been a resident of the county where they filed for divorce at least three months prior to filing the petition.
As mentioned above, the state of Texas has a 60-day mandatory waiting period. This period doesn’t apply to cases of family violence, as a two month-waiver may be granted.
After the petition has been filed with the court, it will be served to the respondent to inform them of the case’s existence. Petitions can be served through certified mail publication, delivery service, or delivered to a location where the respondent can be found.
If the respondent’s whereabouts are unknown, the court may add more time to the case (typically 20 to 28 days). When being served, the respondent responds to the petition by requesting an extension to reach an agreement, contesting it, or accepting the demands stipulated.
Contesting the divorce
When a divorce is contested, both parties collect evidence that supports their reasoning and claims. Most times, lawyers may have a discussion with each party before the trial.
Judges sometimes grant temporary orders that detail things like: who will remain in the home, payment of community debts, spousal support, temporary child support, and the plan for carrying out these orders.
Final divorce hearing
These hearings are usually scheduled in advance and are usually long. Here, evidence gathered by either or both parties is presented.
What prolongs the divorce process?
A few factors that may make the divorce process even longer: backed-up courts, your former spouse hiring a lawyer, not having made decisions about the children, and worrying whether your divorce is a high-asset one.
Child custody arrangements may also take a long time to resolve or agree upon, particularly when children have special needs.
A qualified lawyer will prevent you from making any divorce mistakes, fight for your best interests and help you fight for custody if you have a child. A lawyer also helps you avoid unnecessary delays during the whole process of divorce.
The court your divorce is in, how reasonable you and your spouse are, and the uncontested and contested divorce also influence divorce proceedings and how long they’ll last.
Are there alternative ways to resolve disputes between spouses?
Couples in disagreement concerning their divorce terms may benefit from mediation and collaborative divorce, which is a quicker and less expensive way to resolve issues. Individuals who would prefer to focus on their lives as soon as possible may benefit from this approach.
In most cases, though, mediation and collaboration occur before partners file for divorce.
If you need a divorce lawyer to help walk you through the process and safeguard your interests while getting you the best outcome possible, contact Zarka Law today!