There is no doubt that all spouses who have decided to end their relationship are trying to find options for quick divorces in Texas. No one is attracted to the prospect of lengthy and stressful litigation that also entails huge expenses on lawyer’s fees.
In theory, the fastest divorce can be obtained in 61 days, including 60 days of divorce waiting period in Texas plus 1 day for the final hearing. In practice, however, divorce proceedings are usually protracted, and their final length depends primarily on whether the case is contested or uncontested. How long does a divorce take in Texas in these two instances? An uncontested case can be finalized within 3-5 months, while a contested divorce lasts anywhere from 6 months to several years on average.
Texas Waiting Period for Divorce
As mentioned above, the Texas waiting period for divorce is 60 days. It is mandatory for all types of divorces and begins when the petition is filed with the court. One of the exceptions where the court may waive the waiting period is in domestic violence cases. In general, this 2-month stage of the Texas divorce process is intended to allow spouses to calm down, set aside their emotions, and reconsider the appropriateness and consequences of breaking up their marriage.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take?
In uncontested cases, an average length of a divorce in Texas is usually 3 months. The entire divorce procedure can be divided into four stages:
- Finding and preparing divorce forms applicable to the case and working out a marital settlement agreement with a spouse (about 2 weeks).
- Filing the complete set of documents with the court (1 day). One can use our online service to avoid mistakes in this and the previous divorce steps. For an affordable price, you will get case-specific forms and instructions on how to file them properly with the court.
- Waiting a mandatory period of 60 days.
- Attending a final hearing where the judge will issue a divorce decree. It is important to note that quite a bit of time can pass between the mandatory waiting period and the final hearing, and this delay is usually caused by a court’s caseload.
How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?
In an optimistic scenario, a contested divorce lasts an average of 6 months. This divorce option involves all the stages described in the previous paragraph, except working out the marital settlement agreement. In the contested case, the parties will have to fight in court on every disputed issue or go through a lengthy mediation. As a result, the duration of marriage dissolution process is usually much longer than that of uncontested divorces. Generally, the spouses will have to defend their rights regarding:
- division of property, assets, and debts.
- spousal support.
- child support.
- child custody and time-sharing.
- distribution of insurance benefits.
In order to ensure careful consideration of the case, the court may involve witnesses and hear the opinions of third-party experts. They will have to provide the court with evidence to prove their claims on every issue in dispute, which can require a lot of time. Therefore, a contested divorce can take anywhere from several months to years of litigation.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in Texas with Child
Divorce in Texas with a child is perhaps the most complex and time-consuming option for breaking up a marriage, with a timeline that regularly exceeds the one-year mark. The entire process can go much faster and easier if parents have the same perspective on custody issues and are willing to transform the consent reached into a marital settlement agreement. In that situation, they can get a standard uncontested divorce lasting 3 to 5 months.
If the parties cannot agree, there is a risk that the case can result in numerous lawsuits. A contested divorce with children may require the hearing of witnesses and the advice of childcare experts. The opinion of the latter helps the court decide on the best physical and legal custody option for the child. Additional time is also needed for lawyers to prepare for trials. All these actions take a long time, so contested divorces in Texas often last for years.
How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce?
The final Texas divorce timeline can vary significantly depending on the case type and the presence of disputed issues between spouses. The preparation and filing of divorce papers with the court and the mandatory waiting period take about 3 months.
- In an uncontested divorce, spouses must wait until the court sets a hearing date and issues a final divorce decree in Texas. It typically takes up to 90 days from the date of filing.
- If the divorce is contested, the time frame is automatically stretched due to numerous court hearings. The most stressful and time-consuming cases are those in which the parties fight on several issues simultaneously. To get an agreed final divorce decree in Texas, future exes and their attorneys hold meetings to reach agreements on every contested point. After that, the court litigation over the remaining disputed issues takes place. Its duration, with a high probability, may exceed one year.