Once you decide that you want to divorce your spouse, you probably want to leave this whole chapter of your life behind you. Knowing that there are weeks or months of limbo between when you decide your marriage is over and when the state of Texas agrees that it is over is a source of frustration for many in unhappy marriages.
Divorce is a legal and somewhat bureaucratic process. You have to file certain paperwork, give your spouse the opportunity to reply, and attend necessary hearings. If you and your ex agree that divorcing quickly and with as little conflict as possible is the goal, how quickly can you possibly divorce?
There is a mandatory waiting period after you file
There are multiple stages in divorce. Filing your paperwork with the courts is usually the first or second step, possibly falling after mediation or negotiations you are filing an uncontested divorce. Filing for divorce initiates the legal process that ends with a judge officializing the dissolution of your marriage.
Once you file your petition for divorce with the courts, there is then a 60-day waiting period. The only time that the state will waive the 60-day requirement involves a domestic violence conviction of one spouse. Barring that, the soonest you can go back to court to finalize your divorce after filing a petition is 60 days.
Many divorces take significantly longer than 60 days
The 61st day after filing is the earliest that the courts can hold a hearing for your divorce, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to get into court that quickly. You may find yourself waiting several more weeks due to high volume at different times of the year.
Even once you have a hearing, that doesn’t mean your divorce will be final on that day. The more issues that you and your ex don’t agree on about property division and custody, the more time your divorce will probably require in court. You will both have to present evidence and testimony, and the judge will need time to review everything to make a decision in compliance with Texas state laws.
If you hope to file a fast and possibly uncontested divorce, you will need to minimize conflict and potentially try to settle terms before you file. While divorcing in just 61 days is unlikely, you can still keep the time and expenses involved to a minimum with careful planning.