How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
In addition to being emotionally tough, divorces can take a significantly long time, depending on your familial situation. Many people are reluctant to initiate divorce proceedings and may stay in a legal separation for a long time due to the complexities of the law and having to push the case through the legal system. The goal for most couples is to get a divorce as soon as possible and not prolong the waiting period.
The length of time your divorce will take depends entirely on certain factors, including the complexities of your divorce, the cooling-off period applied in your state, whether there are minor children involved, and much more. With the help of a good divorce attorney, however, you may be able to speed up the long process of going through a divorce.
Here at Skillern Firm, our team of divorce lawyers is highly skilled at mediation and knows how important it is to try and resolve divorce issues in order to speed up the process. Our law firm has been helping clients get divorces for many years, and we know how difficult the process can be. Most people want to get a divorce over and done with as soon as possible and begin a new chapter of their life, so our law firm understands this and wants to help you with the process as fast as possible.
Being a family law firm, we have significant experience with all types of divorce and family legal issues, and we can help you try and resolve even the most difficult tasks. Our priority is to ensure that your best interests are protected at all costs and that the divorce is not dragged on for too long.
Call us today to schedule a consultation at 936-213-8479.
Factors Impacting The Divorce Process
The length of time a divorce will take depends on the particular circumstances of your divorce case and a number of different factors, including the mandatory waiting periods of your State, when you can get a court date, whether you and your spouse agree on certain issues, and more. As such, there is no correct answer to “how long does a divorce take” as it could be a few weeks or more than a year. A divorce lawyer can help further explain the legal process of a divorce and help you submit a divorce petition.
Mandatory Waiting Period
There is a mandatory waiting period or “cooling off period” in most states for a divorce. This essentially means that after you file for divorce, there is a mandatory waiting period until the divorce can occur. These mandatory waiting periods are in place to prevent spouses from making a decision that they will change at a later date, and ensure that spouses are certain about their decision.
The waiting periods vary depending on the state and can be up to six months. In Texas, the waiting cooling-off period after filing divorce paperwork is at least 61 days and up to 90 days. If you file for divorce, you have this waiting period to try and reconcile or assess another option that would work better, such as a legal separation. However, if you decide to go through with the divorce after filing the divorce papers, the divorce will become effective after this waiting period.
State’s Residency Requirements
Some states have certain residency requirements that must be met before a divorce can be effective. In Texas, either spouse must be resident in the state of Texas for at least 6 months and they must have proof that they have lived in the state for the last 90 days before filing for divorce. It is not required that both you and your spouse live in Texas; however, at least one of you must be a resident of the state in order to file for divorce.
Trying to agree on legal issues during a divorce can be quite difficult, particularly if your marriage has lasted a long time, if there are minor children involved, and if there are high-value assets in question. It is rare in Texas that parties agree entirely on every issue, and go through an uncontested divorce. Many parties that get a divorce go through a contested divorce, in which they must decide on all major issues through legal discussions or a divorce judgment.
Uncontested divorces of course can happen a lot quicker, however it is strongly recommended that you seek help from an experienced divorce attorney regarding your situation. You may believe that a divorce decree is fair, however this arrangement will affect the rest of your life, and having a second legal opinion from an attorney is important.
As contested divorce proceedings are often brought through the court system, the time frame is usually much longer. Even outside of court, both parties must agree on major issues including child support and child custody, property division, dividing of assets, spousal support, and more. It is important that you seek help from a divorce lawyer if going through a contested divorce, as they can help ensure that your rights are protected and that a favorable outcome is achieved for both parties.
Issues Involving Children
Often, child custody issues can cause a divorce to take a much longer time. When children are involved, the top priority is ensuring that their best interests are protected. If you and your spouse disagree on a custody arrangement, for example, if one spouse wants sole custody and the other spouse does not want this arrangement, the judge will have to determine what would be in the child’s best interests. In cases where there are minor children involved it can become more difficult.
In relation to child support, the courts in Texas have a strict formula for determining how much should be awarded, based on the income of the other spouse that does not have primary custody and the number of children involved. If you and your spouse disagree on a custody arrangement it may stretch out the divorce.
No-Fault Divorce Case
Because Texas is a no-fault State, it is possible to file for a divorce based on grounds that do not assign fault to the other spouse. This means that the person filing for divorce can allege that the marriage ended due to irreconcilable differences or an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”. As such, the parties agree that the marriage ended civilly and that fault should not be assigned to one spouse for the end of the marriage.
On the other hand, if you decide to file an at-fault divorce in Texas, the person filing will have to prove in court that the other party was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. There are certain grounds that spouses can choose from in Texas, including adultery, felony conviction, cruelty, and abandonment, which can be used to assign blame to a party. Filing for an at-fault divorce will usually take longer than a no-fault divorce due to the extra requirement to prove fault in court.
High-Value and Hidden Assets
Divorcing couples often disagree on property division, particularly when there is high-value property involved. Divorces are more likely to drag out for longer if there are multiple properties, lots of assets, and businesses involved. As Texas is a community state, the property purchased during a marriage will be divided equally and any property or assets obtained previously will not be divided.
In some cases, however, a person may try to hide assets from their spouse in order to prevent them from being divided during a divorce. Some ways a spouse can hide assets include setting up individual bank accounts, buying offshore properties, and buying cryptocurrencies. If you believe your spouse is hiding assets to prevent you from getting an equal share in the divorce, you should speak with an experienced divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
How Long Does it Take to Finalize a Divorce?
The amount of time it takes to reach a final decree for your divorce depends entirely on the particular circumstances of your case and the factors listed above, including whether it was no-fault divorce, whether it was a contested or uncontested divorce, the particularly divorce issues involved, and the relationship you have with your ex-spouse.
In many divorce cases, it can take at least a year for a divorce to be finalized. Technically in Texas, it can be done after 61 days, however, it usually takes a little bit longer. Some divorces can last a significant amount of time, particularly if the other spouse tries to drag out the process for personal reasons. As such, it is important that your lawyer is able to help you speed up the process and help ensure that the divorce decree is achieved in a timely manner.
It is important to consider that your divorce may take longer if there is a backlog of cases or if the Judge does not have any available dates. Once a divorce motion is filed with the court, you will be given a court date by the court clerk, which could be one month or later, depending on the court. The divorce will also not be finalized until the judgment has been accounted for in court records, even after the judge signs the order.
Is It Possible To Speed Up The Legal Process?
In some ways, it is possible to speed up the divorce process, particularly with the help of a good family law lawyer. In order to speed up the process, spouses must decide to agree on certain legal issues, including:
- Child custody
- Child support.
- Division of property
- Health and life insurance.
- Spousal support.
- Other marital issues.
If spouses decide to agree on these issues, the divorce process can be much quicker. Your lawyer can help you negotiate these issues with your spouse to speed up the process. If you want to have a quick divorce and are happy to agree on issues, a lawyer may be able to bring a divorce hearing date forward, provided that the minimum cooling-off period has been met.
Divorce Attorneys at Skillern Firm
Hiring a divorce attorney can be the best way to help speed up the process of a divorce. In most divorce cases, due to the length of time of the marriage and the personal issues that get in the way, spouses can struggle to reach an agreement on important matters. Many people believe that they would be unable to sit in a room with their ex-spouse and discuss these important issues through mediation.
The lawyers at Skillern Firm, however, have achieved significant results through mediation and many of our clients were surprised at the ability to reach an agreement with their spouses on important issues with the help of our lawyers. Our lawyers understand that each divorce is unique and the length of time it takes depends on a wide range of issues. With our unique experience and skills, we can help try and speed up the divorce by helping you submit divorce papers on time, filing fees with you, meditating with your ex-spouse and their lawyer, and guiding you through the process.
All of our lawyers are highly experienced family lawyers and have won multiple awards for their hard work and dedication. Our managing attorney, firm partner, and our senior counsel, Matthew Skillern, John Schmude, and Robin Klein, respectively, have been Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. John Schmude has also worked as a family law Judge in Harris County, Texas, and has dealt with many complex divorces. As such, he has unique experience with how to apply fairness and efficiency in a divorce proceeding.
How Long Does The Divorce Process Take?
The question “how long does it take to get a divorce” does not have a concrete answer. The length of time a divorce will take depends on the particular facts of your case, including the complexities of your case, whether there are minor children involved, whether you have high-value assets, and the mandatory waiting period of your state.
Of course, having the backing of a divorce lawyer that is skilled at mediation and negotiation can speed up your case proceedings drastically. At Skillern Firm, we want to help you get through the process as quickly as possible so that you can begin a new chapter of your life.
Our divorce lawyers are highly skilled at mediation and prioritize reaching divorce agreements outside of court in other to preserve existing relationships and prevent tension. Of course, we are prepared to bring your case to a Judge if needed, and our lawyers are highly experienced with trial cases.
We want to ensure that your best interests are protected at every stage of the case, that you get the best result possible, and that the process is as efficient as can be.
Call us today to schedule a consultation at 936-213-8479.