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How Long Do Divorces Take in Texas?

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you have likely wondered how long divorce takes in Texas. The law in Texas places a mandatory 60-day waiting period on all divorce cases in the state and so, even the quickest divorce cases cannot be finalized until 61 days have passed from the date divorce papers were filed with the court. However, many divorce cases take a bit longer. In Texas, the majority of divorce cases take anywhere from six months to one year for couples to resolve all of their issues. Certain factors, such as substantial assets and child custody, are complex and can take a divorce to take longer.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Texas?

The quickest way to get a divorce in Texas is if you and your spouse can agree to all of the different terms of the case. These terms include asset division, child custody, child support, alimony, and more. If you and your spouse can agree to every term, you can get an uncontested divorce, which is much faster and less expensive than a contested divorce if you cannot agree.

Uncontested divorces still have the required 60-day waiting period. As such, you cannot obtain one until at least 61 days after one of you has filed papers with the court. However, most courts today are backlogged and have full dockets. Due to this, even an uncontested divorce will likely take at least a little longer than 61 days.

The Timeline of the Average Texas Divorce

Every marriage is unique and so too, is every divorce case. Still, using the below guideline for the average divorce process can help you determine how long your case may take.

  • Pre-filing:
  • Pre-filing is not an actual part of the legal process, but it is an important step. During this time, which will take a few weeks, you should seriously consider whether you want a divorce, unless you or your children are victims of domestic violence. You should also meet with a Texas divorce lawyer at this stage to discuss your legal options.

  • Filing the petition:
  • Either you or your spouse can file a petition with the court requesting that your marriage be dissolved. You must have lived in Texas for at least six months before you can file and have lived in the county where you file for at least 90 days. If you file the petition, you can also detail your requests for alimony, child support, and certain property. Filing the petition can take a few days.

  • Waiting period:
  • Unless you or your children are suffering from abuse at the hands of your spouse, you will have to wait the required 60-day waiting period. If domestic violence is involved, the waiting period can be waived by a judge. It is important to note that there is no legal separation requirement in Texas so as long as you wait the 60 days, you can obtain a divorce.

  • The response:
  • After one party has filed the divorce petition with the court, the paperwork is served to the other spouse. The spouse who is served then has the opportunity to respond to the petition, as well as the requests and accusations within 20 to 28 days.

  • Contested divorces:
  • If you and your spouse cannot agree to all the terms of the divorce, you will have to obtain a contested divorce. Contested cases take much longer, as evidence must be collected, and negotiations must take place between the attorneys representing each side. Sometimes, lawyers will try to keep pushing back court dates so the other side will accept an unfair settlement. A contested divorce case can take anywhere between a few months to a couple of years, but the right attorney can make sure your case continues to move forward.

  • Temporary orders:
  • A judge may issue temporary orders at the beginning of a divorce case including those stating who can remain in the family home, how child and spousal support will be paid, and where the children will spend their time. It can take a few weeks for a judge to issue temporary orders.

  • Final hearing:
  • During the final divorce hearing, a judgment is issued. Depending on the amount of evidence presented during the case, the final hearing could take a few days.

You Can Trust Our Divorce Lawyers in Houston, Texas with Your Case

If you are getting a divorce, do not go through the process alone. At Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our Houston divorce lawyers can help you through the process so you can avoid unnecessary delays and get started with your new life as quickly as possible. Call us now at 713-225-6200 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.