How Long Does a Divorce Take in Texas?
Sept. 21, 2022
When a couple first enters into a marriage under the eyes of God, they don’t think about one day breaking their vows and seeking a divorce. However, even if both spouses start out with the best intentions, divorce is sometimes the only solution to pursue. In the end, it can be the right decision for your family.
If you’re considering separating from your spouse or are currently going through a divorce, reach out to Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law in Fort Worth, Texas for compassionate and experienced legal counsel. You likely have many questions about this process and you may be wondering how long finalizing the divorce will take in Texas. Attorney Kim Hamilton can help you move forward and find peace in this uneasy time.
Understanding Texas Divorce
When you file for divorce in Texas, there are several eligibility requirements that you should be informed about that could affect how long the process will take. The first is a residency requirement which states that either spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing, and that one spouse must have lived in the county you're filling in for at least 90 days prior. Your next step is to determine whether you’ll be filing a contested or uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both partners agree on how the joint assets will be divided, whether or not alimony will be paid, and if there are minor children, what the custody and child support agreement will be. If the couple can agree, they will then have to write up a marital settlement agreement and have a judge sign off on it. It can be extremely helpful to hire a lawyer to ensure it’s written correctly.
If the divorce is contested, it means that one spouse disagrees with the terms proposed by the other. In this case, it’s likely that one or both partners will want to work with a family law attorney who will represent their interests in the divorce process. You may also wish to pursue mediation which can help some couples come to an agreement without having to pay high legal fees.
Waiting Period for Divorce in Texas
One of the most frequent questions that comes up from clients is, “How long does a divorce take?” Unfortunately, there is no set answer to this question and the length of your divorce will depend on several factors. However, Texas law does require a 60 day waiting period once your divorce petition is received before a court will approve it. Because of this waiting period, even under the most favorable circumstances, the earliest you can get divorced is 61 days, although it takes most couples longer than this to finalize their settlement.
Factors That Could Affect the Time
One of the biggest factors that affects how soon your divorce will be completed is whether or not it’s contested. Most contested divorces can take several months to complete since your attorneys will have to go back and forth with one another until an agreement can be made. Even an uncontested divorce can take a while since you’ll still need to work though several complicated issues such as asset division, alimony, and child custody. You may also run into delays if you don’t meet the residency requirement for Texas or if the court has a limited availability of judges or courtrooms.
Lastly, you may have grounds to file for a fault-based divorce, although these are rare. In most cases, the court isn’t concerned with the reason why your marriage has disintegrated, only that both spouses agree they have irreconcilable issues. However, in cases of adultery, abandonment, abuse, or even criminal considerations like a felony conviction, one spouse may wish to pursue a fault divorce which may result in a more favorable outcome but will also take considerably longer to complete.
No matter what your reason for divorcing, it is important to work with a divorce attorney in Texas who’s familiar with local laws and can help expedite your case while also advocating for your rights and needs. You want to ensure your divorce decree is thoroughly and accurately completed so you can move on to the next stage of your life with a clean slate. This can take some time, but doing it right the first time will save you headaches in the future.
Skilled & Compassionate Advocacy
When you work with Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law, you’ll be gaining a partner in this process who understands how stressful and complicated divorce can be, but who also knows that by listening to our own consciences—and with the help of God—you can make it through to the other side. With an office in Fort Worth, Texas, Attorney Kim Hamilton can help clients throughout Texas including Johnson County and Tarrant County. Call today to schedule a consultation.