How long will my divorce take? It’s one of the most common questions new clients ask when they are just beginning the divorce process. Each case is different, and it’s impossible to predict the future, but here are some general guidelines about divorce timelines in Texas.
Texas Family Law Sets Divorce Timelines
Texas law sets certain timelines for divorce. Before a spouse can file for divorce, at least one of the spouses is required to have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county where the petition is filed for at least 90 days.
If the spouses meet this requirement, a petition for divorce can be filed. The petition must be on file with the court for at least 60 days before the court can grant a divorce. The divorce can be finalized after the 60-day waiting period is over.
Conflict and Complexity Play a Part in Divorce Timelines
If the parties agree about the major issues in their divorce – things like dividing assets and deciding child custody matters – their divorce can be finalized soon after the 60-day waiting period is over. However, divorces can take longer if the couple does not agree. In those cases, the divorce timeline depends on the court’s schedule and the complexity of the case.
We have found that once a couple agrees to a divorce, the spouses usually try to complete the process as quickly as possible. They cooperate to come to an agreement on issues that are important to successfully dissolve their marriage.
According to The Houston Bar Association, divorces involving some disagreement usually take several months to resolve, and they can take up to one year if a trial is necessary. Of course, not all couples agree so easily. The New York Post reported on the divorce of a financial executive and his wife, in which the couple spent 21 years fighting over marital assets.
How Can I Speed Things Up?
If your goal is a quick divorce, there are several ways to speed up the divorce process, but the best way is simply through cooperation. Couples who keep their emotions in check and work together as cooperatively as possible usually find that their divorces proceed more quickly. Good attorneys will counsel their clients to make decisions that are in line with the client’s overall goals.
Domestic violence also plays a part in speeding up divorce proceedings. In certain cases involving convictions for family violence and protective orders, the 60-day waiting period may be waived. Tell your lawyer is domestic violence is a factor in your divorce.
Why Does the Divorce Timeline Matter?
Long divorces with lots of conflict and continued court time can have a serious negative impact on a family’s overall happiness. The more time couples spend in divorce court, the more stressful the divorce can be for their children. What’s more, divorces that go on for years and years can use up a family’s financial cushion.
We do not mean that you should avoid fighting to protect your interests in a divorce – just that it’s critical to keep your divorce timeline in mind when setting goals. To get started, call the Arlington/Mansfield divorce office of Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-755-1852.