Your Divorce Process: 4 Factors that Can Seriously Affect Its Duration
Just as every marriage is unique, so too is every divorce, and there is no exact schedule that your divorce is guaranteed to follow. There are, however, four factors that are likely to affect the duration of your divorce process. While you may have control over some of these factors, there are others that you do not.
First Things First: There is a Mandatory Waiting Period
Right off the bat, Texas imposes a mandatory waiting period of at least 60 days after filing for divorce before your divorce can be finalized. This is true even if you and your divorcing spouse are in complete agreement on every divorce term.
Second: Financial Complications Often Require More Time
If your divorce involves a financial complication such as business ownership, high assets, multiple properties, or complex financial holdings, you are going to need more time to hammer out an equitable division of this marital property. When a couple’s finances are complicated, it is often necessary to delve more deeply into gathering all the essential documentation, and to obtain reliable, professional valuations. If you have concerns about your soon-to-be-ex hiding assets or otherwise obscuring financials, you may need to invest in forensic accounting, which is naturally a more complicated and more time-consuming endeavor.
Third: Adopting a Collaborative Approach Saves Time
If you and your divorcing spouse are both genuinely invested in hammering out divorce terms collaboratively, it can save you a considerable amount of time, heartache, and expense. Collaboration does not mean you have to be in complete harmony on every term but, instead, means that you are both willing to negotiate in good faith for terms that are as fair as they can be under the given circumstances. Conversely, if your divorcing spouse takes it upon himself or herself to turn even minor matters into battles, you are very likely looking at a protracted divorce process. The best path forward is generally to focus your efforts on your divorce priorities and to – in the process – ignore the static your spouse is creating to the best of your ability.
Fourth: Child Custody Arrangements Often Take More Time
If your divorce involves children, you will need to negotiate terms that address both legal and physical custody – both of which can be either joint or sole. Legal custody relates to which parent will be making important decisions on behalf of the children, including:
Decisions about education
Decisions about religious upbringing
Decisions about mental and physical health care
Decisions about extracurricular activities
Physical custody pertains to which parent the children will be living with and according to what schedule. If you and your spouse share similar views on these important matters, hammering out child custody arrangements should be a fairly straightforward process, but if not, it can represent a considerable hurdle that may require the court’s intervention.