21 Mar How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?
If you are about to head into divorce proceedings, you may wonder: How long will it take to get divorced? Is this a process that will keep you returning to family court for years? Will you be able to put it all behind you quickly? For many, starting the next chapter in your life is at the forefront of your mind.
No two divorces are the same. There are, however, rough guidelines you can refer to try and estimate how long the process can last. Let’s dive into it.
What to Know – Waiting Period
Many states have a mandatory waiting period when one party files for divorce. Texas is one of them. During that waiting period, a divorce will not be granted. It gives the other party time to respond before the case can move forward. The waiting period is 60 days.
It is important to note that in cases of family violence, a waiver can be granted for the waiting period.
Texas does not require couples to be legally or physically separated before filing for divorce. It does not recognize legal separation, either. Some states require a separation period that can last up to a year. Texas only has a 60-day waiting period after filing.
What to Know – the Process
Aside from the waiting period, there are a few more steps when it comes to getting divorced:
Filing is the paperwork that you submit to the court to start the divorce proceedings. In this case, it is good to have a family law attorney to help you file. The file requests not only the dissolution of marriage, but your requests for property, child support, and alimony, if applicable. Preparing the paperwork to file and filing can take at least, a few days. This is dependent on how long it takes to draft everything with your attorney.
The party served has 20-28 days to respond to the papers. This timeline begins after getting served, not after the 60-day waiting period concludes. They can agree with all requests or disagree and make their own demands.
The waiting period, as mentioned, is 60 days. During this time, there are no rules about where you need to live. It is important to note that all your marital property stays as such until a divorce is finalized.
This part of the process will determine how lengthy getting a divorce will be. An uncontested divorce means both parties agree to the divorce terms. This leads to a divorce decree shortly after the waiting period is over. Disagreement leads to a contested divorce.
Is yours a highly contested divorce? Are there children involved? Factors such as this can lengthen the process. When a divorce is contested, the parties and their lawyers need to go back and forth in negotiations. This can take weeks, months, or even years.
Final divorce hearing
This hearing is where a divorce decree is granted. At this hearing, the evidence and terms are presented to a judge, who will conclude if they are fair and grant the divorce. The hearing can take up to a few days, depending on how much there is to present.
The Bottom (Time)line
In Texas, the fastest you can get a divorce is 61 days. Most times, the process will take longer, especially if it is a contested divorce. The addition of kids and figuring out child support takes longer to settle.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, having an attorney through the process can greatly help. Attorneys will ensure that all filings and court procedures are done correctly. In addition, they will act as your advocate. They will fight for the best outcome for you and your family. Navarette Bowen P.C. has a team of experienced divorce lawyers that can help. Our main office is located in downtown Denton and you can contact us to set up a confidential consultation to discuss your circumstances and receive guidance.