How Long Does Divorce Take in Texas?

At MyHoustonDivorce.Lawyer, one of the most common questions we get is: How Long Does Divorce Take in Texas? We wrote this article to answer that question.

Texas Divorce TimelineTexas Divorce Timeline

Most people seeking divorce do not want the process to drag out longer than necessary because that would cost a lot of money and would be emotionally draining. Generally, the amount of time a divorce takes is determined by the parties that are seeking that divorce and their exes.  In addition the fact that, every situation is different can make the time it takes for a divorce to be finalized to vary.

Expedited Divorce in TX

The only way you can fast track your divorce with your ex is if both of you compromise on the settlement.  That means compromising on the divorce, property and debts, and child support issues. Normally, the divorce process begins when an Original Petition for Divorce is filed with the court. This petition gives the court notice of your intention to divorce and starts the clock on how soon you can be divorced. The divorce is only completed if it is either granted by a final trial or an agreement between the divorcing spouses.

There is a compulsory waiting time of 60 days after the petition is filed. A divorce cannot be granted by a court before within those 60 days. That means that the earliest you can get a divorce is on the 61st day after the petition was filed.  It is assumed that the 60 days is enough time for the divorcing parties to either reconsider the divorce or continue pursuing it.

Texas Divorce Waiting Period

60 Day Waiting Period for Divorce in Texas

Some call this a “cooling off period.”

You can get a divorce before the 61st day if a court declares your marriage void or if it grants an annulment.  Another situation where the divorce can be finalized sooner is if one of the parties has been convicted, or received a deferred adjudication for an offense that involves family violence.  The divorce may also end sooner if the petitioner has an active protective order for emergency protection or under title 5.

Uncontested Divorce Length in Texas

Usually it is the contested divorces that take a long time to resolve. The longer they take the more the legal fees. The only time an uncontested divorce may take a long time is if takes a long time to gather information from each party. A contested divorce may be because of child support, division of property and so on.  Disagreements are also quite common in situations where a lot of valuable property is involved. So if they cannot agree about those things, they can try and get their case into mediation.

During mediation, a neutral mediator will try to help the parties to resolve their issues to help speed the divorce. However, if the parties cannot reach an agreement the case may go to trial. If they go to trial, the case can take days or weeks to resolve.  A judge issues an order with terms by which the divorcing couple must comply at trial. The judge only does this after reviewing the evidence and hearing the testimony. Many couples try as hard as they can to avoid their divorce going to trial because the court orders resulting from a trial may be worse than what they would have agreed on during mediation.