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Is There a Required Waiting Period for Divorce in Texas?

by | Feb 25, 2022 | Divorce

Once you’ve decided to get a divorce, you might want it to be over as quickly as possible, so you can move on and build up your new life. But there is a 60-day waiting period for a Texas divorce, so you won’t be able to separate from your partner instantly. When you first get in touch with your divorce lawyer in Cypress, TX, they will explain to you how the process works and at what point the paperwork will go through.

While there are a few exceptions, most people will need to wait the full 60 days or longer before they can make their divorce legal. In many cases, this doesn’t impact the process, especially if there are contested items that need to be worked out. In fact, the process might take much longer than two months. Let’s have a closer look at the waiting period and the expected duration of a divorce.

What Is the Required Waiting Period for a Texas Divorce?

In Texas, the period between when you first file for divorce and when you can finalize the process will take a minimum of 60 days. In practice, this means that you’ll be able to get divorced within 61 days at the shortest. This waiting period is designed to give you time to reflect on your decision and make sure it is the best course of action in your situation.

Two months might seem short, and you won’t always be able to get divorced that quickly. Depending on the area and how busy the courts are at the time you file, it might not go through that quickly. In fact, many people find that it takes around 90 to 120 days until they are divorced. If you have many contested items, it could be much longer, especially if you and your former spouse are not able to come to an agreement without the help of the court.

Are there Exceptions?

The waiting period is applicable to almost anyone, and it is unlikely that you can get it shortened or removed. The exception is extreme cases, where a continued marriage could pose a threat to one of the partners. For instance, if you are being physically abused, you might be able to ask the judge to get divorced sooner. This is to ensure your safety and prevent you from being in a risky situation, and it may not be granted unless you are in danger.

What Is the Purpose of the Waiting Period?

So, why exactly is there a waiting period? The answer is that these two months give you and your spouse time to think about whether you really would get divorced. Most people have a good reason why they want to dissolve their marriage, so they’re unlikely to change their mind. However, there are spouses who acted in the heat of the moment, and once they calm down, they are happy to give it another shot.

Additionally, divorce takes a long time because you have to negotiate with your former partner and figure out suitable arrangements for your children. Thus, you will need at least two months to come up with these solutions. The waiting period gives you a chance to sort out your finances and think about what kind of arrangement works best for the whole family.

What to Do During this Time

While you are waiting for your Texas divorce to go through, you can work together with your divorce lawyer in Cypress, TX and figure out what custody arrangement you’d like and how your property should be divided. Once you’ve come up with a proposal, you can start negotiating with the other party. If they agree, your divorce can take place as soon as the 60 days are up. If not, you might need to go to court and fight for your rights.

To prevent the situation from getting more complicated during your waiting period, there are certain things you should avoid doing. Neither party should take on a large amount of debt or purchase expensive items while in the process of divorce. This could reflect badly on them and make it harder for them to get a good outcome.

How Long Will an Uncontested Divorce Take?

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all issues, so they simply need a lawyer to draw up the paperwork for them and then sign it. This could be achieved within 60-120 days, but it is extremely rare because there is usually at least one item that the former partners cannot agree on.

It’s important to remember that the fewer contested items you have, the faster your divorce can be processed. Your attorney will speak to you about what’s most important to you, for example, your primary residence, full or partial custody of your children, or a vehicle you are particularly attached to. They will encourage you to choose a few things to fight for. That way, you can receive the crucial assets, but you won’t be fighting about every detail of the separation.

How Long Will a Contested Divorce Take?

When a divorce is contested, this means that the spouses cannot agree on one or several of the items. This is much more complicated than an uncontested divorce because you have to go through negotiation and mediation. If you can’t come to a suitable conclusion, you will need to take your former partner to court, which can significantly prolong the time it takes for you to be divorced. In some cases, it takes 6 months, a year, or even longer.

How Your Divorce Lawyer in Cypress, TX Can Help

No matter how easy or challenging your divorce is, it’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney, who can make sure your contract is in your best interests. After you first contact them, your lawyer will ask you about the situation and what your ideal outcome is. Then, they will explain the divorce process in Texas, so you’re optimally prepared.

Together, you and your lawyer will build up a case, so you can receive the items that are crucial to you. For instance, they might gather evidence of your competence as a parent, which will allow you to become the primary caregiver of your children. If possible, they will negotiate with the other party directly, but if not, they will help you fight for your rights in court.

Learn More

When you get a Texas divorce, you’ll have to wait for at least 60 days from the time you file your paperwork. This “cooling off” period is designed to make sure you won’t change your mind and that both parties are on board with the process. Fortunately, two months isn’t very long, and the time will usually be spent coming up with an arrangement for property division, alimony and child support, and child custody.

While you might be able to complete an uncontested divorce within a few months of filing, a contested divorce can take half a year or longer. To make sure you’re getting a fair outcome, you’ll need to hire a divorce lawyer in Cypress, TX. Get in touch with us now at Skillern Law to book a meeting with one of our family law attorneys. We will be happy to evaluate your case and help you figure out where to go from here.