Is There a Mandatory Waiting Period Before Divorce in Texas?

Many people entering the divorce process hope that things will settle quickly and easily. While our attorneys strive to simplify the complicated divorce process, things can still drag on longer than anyone would like. It is nearly impossible to know how long a divorce will take beforehand, but there are legal requirements in Texas for the minimum amount of time in which a divorce can occur.

In the state of Texas, a divorce cannot be completed any faster than 60 days. This gives the couple a period to cool off and change their minds. However, most divorces are not completed in this short period of time. Many factors, such as disagreements, division of assets, and child custody, could lengthen the divorce timeframe.

There are also two circumstances in which a judge would waive the 60-day waiting period. That includes if your spouse is convicted of domestic violence against you or someone in your household or if you have an active order of protection against your spouse due to violence in the marriage. If you are going through a divorce and would like to expedite the process, contact Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law for help at 713-766-3733.

What Are the Two Main Types of Divorce?

Like other states, Texas has two significant types of divorce that you may go through. The kind of divorce you are seeking will drastically change the overall divorce timeline.
The two main types of divorce include:

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce happens when spouses cannot agree on the major terms of divorce. Spouses may argue over issues like fault, child support, child custody, spousal support, or division of property. If parties cannot agree on these issues together, then the case will go to court. Because litigation can take a long time, a contested divorce often takes much longer than an uncontested divorce.

In most cases, contested divorces take around nine months to one year to finalize. Much of that time is spent waiting for the case to appear in court and for a judge to reach their final decision.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce happens when both spouses generally agree on the major terms of divorce. Because these divorces can happen without court intervention, the timeline is much faster, and expenses are much lower.

An uncontested divorce generally takes between 60 and 90 days to finalize. Most of that time is spent waiting on the 60-day mandatory waiting period. Unless domestic violence is involved, 60 days is the shortest a divorce can take to finalize in Texas.

What Issues Cause a Divorce to Take Longer?

The following issues typically cause divorces in Texas to take longer to complete:

  • There are children involved – Settling a divorce with children involves many decisions, such as custody, child support, and visitation rights. If the couple is not on the same page regarding all these issues, the divorce could last up to a year or more.
  • There are many assets to divide – If the couple has a lot of assets, this could also cause delays as the assets must be divided.
  • The divorce is a fault divorce – In Texas, a divorce can be fault or no-fault. If there is no fault, the divorce will be much simpler to handle. However, if one or both parties find fault with the other, this contention can cause issues that delay the divorce.
  • There are disputes to resolve – In some contested divorce cases, couples will use mediation or arbitration to settle disputes. However, these methods can take some time, elongating the process.
  • The divorce goes to court – Any litigation measures take time to prepare for and time to complete. If the divorce goes to court, each spouse must prepare with their attorneys and then wait for a court date to be set.

What Can I Do to Simplify My Divorce?

Often, you can do little to change how long a divorce will take because many of the decisions will be out of your hands. However, if you can find solutions with your ex-spouse without a great deal of disagreement, this will significantly decrease the amount of time required to complete the divorce. Mediation, or the help of an unbiased third party, can be beneficial in reaching a compromise with your spouse. Arbitration, or meeting with legal representatives and consulting experts to settle disputes, is also an increasingly popular method for simplifying divorce.

Another way to simplify your divorce proceedings is by using experienced attorneys who will watch out for your interests and help you through the legal process. By hiring a legal representative right away, you can ensure that your best interests are protected, even in an uncontested divorce. Reach out to our firm today if you are preparing to file for divorce so we can guide you through the process.

Should You Hire Our Attorneys?

Representing yourself during a divorce can be tempting, especially if you are trying to finalize the divorce quickly. However, hiring an attorney is actually one of the best ways to expedite the process. You’ll have someone on your side who has navigated the legal system hundreds of times before to help guide you.

At our law firm, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping clients resolve legal issues such as divorce. We promise to use our experience, knowledge, honesty, and integrity to fight for your rights during your divorce. While we cannot control what happens during the divorce, we will stand by your side and be a strong ally in your corner. Contact Morgan Bourque Attorney at Law today at 713-766-3733 to find out how our talented legal team can help you.