How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in Texas?
If you are contemplating getting a divorce in Texas, you may wonder, “How long does a divorce take?” Due to the mandatory waiting period in Texas, which is 60 days, it takes at least 61 days to finalize a divorce.
In most cases, divorces take much longer and typically range anywhere from three months to over a year depending on whether you pursue a contested or uncontested divorce, whether you have children, the length of your marriage, the number of disputed issues, and many other factors.
The Florence divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard are dedicated to helping you navigate the divorce process in Texas to ensure that you reach the best possible outcome.
How to Get a Quick Divorce in Texas?
Typically, you can get a quick divorce in Texas when you and your spouse agree on all issues and are pursuing what is known as an “uncontested divorce.”
The fewer disputes the parties have, the less time it takes to finalize their divorce. You can speed up your divorce case in Texas if you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse agree on all aspects of the divorce, including:
Child custody and visitation
The distribution of assets
If you can come to an agreement with your spouse, you could potentially finalize your divorce immediately after the waiting period. Under Texas Family Code § 6.702, a Texas court will not grant a divorce before 60 days have passed from the date of filing a Petition for Divorce.
Note: You can waive the waiting period if you have been a victim of domestic violence.
Many people mistakenly believe that Texas also has a mandatory separation period in addition to the waiting period. Unlike some other states, Texas law does not require spouses to live apart before filing for divorce.
What is the Divorce Timeline in Texas?
It is easier to estimate how long it will take to get a divorce if you understand the timeline of a typical divorce in Texas.
1. Preparation for the Filing (from 1 day to a few weeks)
During this stage, you begin contemplating a divorce and deciding whether you actually want to end your marriage. This is when it is essential to consult with a divorce attorney to navigate the divorce process and understand your rights.
2. Filing for Divorce (from 1 to 3 days)
Once you are ready to initiate the divorce proceedings, your attorney will help you prepare and file a Petition for Divorce. Filing the petition is what formally triggers the divorce process. The petition must be filed with the appropriate court. Whoever files the petition is called “the Petitioner,” while the other spouse is called “the Respondent.”
When filing for divorce, the Petitioner requests the court to dissolve their marriage and lists their requests for:
Division of property
Under Texas Family Code § 6.301, you can file a Petition for Divorce if you have lived in Texas for at least six months. You must also live in the county where you are filing for divorce for the previous 90 days.
3. The Waiting Period (60 days)
The mandatory waiting period, which lasts 60 days in Texas, starts from the date the Petitioner files for divorce. If the Petitioner has been a victim of domestic violence, they may be able to waive the 60-day waiting period.
4. Service of Process and Filing an Answer (from 20 to 28 days)
After the Respondent has been served with the petition, they must file an answer acknowledging the receipt of a copy of the petition. The Respondent has 20 days and the next following Monday to respond to divorce papers.
If the spouses are working together, the Respondent can waive the service of process to get a quicker divorce. However, if the Respondent’s location is unknown and he/she cannot be found, the service of process can take longer. This can extend the timeline of a divorce.
When filing an answer, the Respondent can respond to or contest the arguments made in the petition.
5. Resolving Divorce Issues (from 1 month to a few years)
The more disputed issues you have, the longer it will take to resolve them and finalize the divorce. If you are pursuing a contested divorce, you and your spouse will participate in discovery to exchange evidence and documents. Going to trial would extend the length of your divorce, but most divorce cases are resolved before trial.
Alternatively, you and your spouse can try mediation or collaborative divorce to resolve your issues without any involvement by the court. Mediation and collaborative divorce could not only save you a significant amount of time, but they could also cost less than divorce litigation.
How fast the parties can resolve the contested issues depends on their ability to compromise and their willingness to reach a consensus.
6. Attending a Final Divorce Hearing (1 to 3 days)
Your divorce will be granted at the final divorce hearing. If you have resolved all of your contested issues during the waiting period, the hearing will be scheduled beyond the 61st day. The final divorce hearing could take from one to three (or more) days, depending on the amount of evidence and the complexity of your case.
What Factors Affect the Length of a Texas Divorce?
Each divorce case is unique, which is why the length of your divorce depends on a number of factors. If you are still wondering, “How long does it take to get a divorce in Texas?” the right answer would be: A divorce can take from three months to over a year depending on the following factors:
Whether you are pursuing a contested or uncontested divorce
The number of disputed issues, if any
The number of children, if any
The length of your marriage
The experience and negotiation skills of your divorce lawyer
The location where your divorce takes place
The availability of the court
The reasonableness of the parties’ demands
The ability of both parties to compromise
The willingness of both parties to reach an agreement
Call Us Today to Speak with a Divorce Attorney in Florence, Texas
Discuss your case with a Florence divorce lawyer to determine how long it will take to finalize your divorce in your particular situation. At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, we are committed to helping you understand your rights and options when pursuing a divorce.
Our experienced divorce attorney Brett H. Pritchard will make sure that your divorce process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible to help you move forward with your life. Call 254-501-4040 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.