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How Long Does A Divorce Take In Texas?

Most people approaching the divorce process in Texas wish it could be done with a snap of their fingers – skip the legal drudgery and get on with their lives.

Unfortunately, no divorce is resolved quite that quickly. But, on the bright side, the process might not take as long as you think it will. Here’s a look at a typical divorce timeline in Texas from our Houston divorce attorney at Law Thompson, P.C..

What Is The Fastest Divorce Possible In Texas?

Texas has a mandatory minimum 60-day waiting period for all who seek a divorce. This means that beginning the day after someone files for divorce, it will be at least two months before their divorce is eligible to be granted. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if you or someone else in the home has suffered domestic violence at the hands of your spouse or if you have an order of protection against them.

Generally speaking, 60 days is the minimum amount of time a divorce can take in Texas. This 60-day timeline is feasible and suitable for uncontested divorces.

Uncontested Divorce Vs. Contested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which neither spouse is challenging the divorce or disputing any of its proposed terms or outcome. There are two types of uncontested divorce: 1) A Default Uncontested Divorce, and 2) An Agreed Uncontested Divorce

  1. A Default Uncontested Divorce is a divorce in which only one of the spouses is participating in the divorce process. In this situation, one spouse files the divorce, and the second spouse declines to appear or participate in the divorce process after having been furnished with proper legal notification and a reasonable opportunity to respond.
  2. An Agreed Uncontested Divorce is a divorce in which both of the spouses are participating in the divorce process and have come to an agreement on all divorce matters.

Divorce matters include such things as a determination as how the various assets and debts and other financial obligations are to be allocated between the spouses. If there are minor children of the marriage, then such divorce matters would also need to include a parenting plan regarding child custody and parental rights & duties, and child support.

Uncontested divorces can go much faster than contested divorces as the various divorce matters in these types of cases can usually be worked-out independently and swiftly. This is due to the absence of any dispute or disagreement between the spouses as to the various divorce matters and outcome of the case. Indeed, uncontested divorces can frequently be finalized once the 60-day waiting period is up, provided that there is no dispute or disagreement between the spouses as to these divorce matters.

A contested divorce is one in which the spouses do not agree on one or more of the various  divorce matters mentioned above. What typically happens in a contested divorce is that one or both spouses end up hiring attorneys. The Court will typically issue a Scheduling Order setting forth a number of deadlines and tasks that will need to be completed before the divorce can be finalized. There may be one or more court hearings before the contested divorce is finalized.

Sometimes, divorce cases that begin as contested divorce are eventually resolved and settled. This can occur if the spouses, with the guidance of their attorneys, are finally able to reach an agreement on all divorce matters. However, if there is no agreement between the spouses, then the divorce will eventually proceed to trial. At trial, it will be the Judge who rules and makes the final decisions on the divorce matters when the parties are unable to agree.

What Factors Affect How Long A Divorce Takes?

A contested divorce can take anywhere from several months to a ½ year or a full year or more before the case can be finalized. Besides a divorce being uncontested or contested, other factors can affect the length of the process, like:

  • If the divorce is sought on fault-based grounds
  • Disputes regarding child custody (including where the children are to reside) and disputes over child support
  • Property division, including disputes regarding the value of assets
  • Disputes regarding other financial obligations, such as spousal support or payment of debts.
  • The method used to resolve disputes
  • An uncooperative spouse

Proving a spouse’s wrongdoing, contentious child custody discussions, complex marital property and dealing with an obstinate ex can lengthen the process considerably.

We’ll Guide You Through The Divorce Process, Short Or Long

Good legal representation can help you navigate the process confidently, no matter how long your divorce will take. If you have decided to end your marriage, Law Thompson, P.C., is here to help you take the next steps.

To get started, call our Houston divorce attorney at 281-369-8665 or fill out a contact form to schedule a consultation.