How Long Will My Texas Divorce Take?

One of the most frequently asked questions in my divorce consults is “How soon can I be divorced?” Generally, what I tell people is that is the answer depends on them and their soon to be Ex.

The Fast Track Divorce

In my divorce consults I say the divorce process starts when an Original Petition for Divorce is filed with the court. Filing the Original Petition for Divorce does two things which is:

  1. It gives the Court notice of what you want and
  2. Starts the clock on how soon you can be divorced

A divorce in Texas can only either be granted by:

  1. a final trial or
  2. an agreement.

Under Texas Family Code Section 6.702 a “court may not grant a divorce before the 60th day after the divorce was filed.” By readings this part of the family code you learn two things which are:

  1. The 60-day waiting period begins the day a person files for divorce and so
  2. This means the 61st day after a divorce petition is filed is the earliest date you can get divorced in Texas.

These 60 days are often referred to as a “cooling off” period in the Texas laws. The Texas legislature decided to give the parties to a dispute time to think through what they were doing and consider whether dissolving a marriage was a good idea.

Thus, 61 days is usually the fastest amount of time you can get a divorce in Texas. However, for the divorce to be completed that quickly the following things will need to have been agreed on:

  1. Being Divorced
  2. Property and Debts and
  3. All Children’s Issues

Divorces in Texas May Take Longer than 61 Days

If those three things have not been agreed on the divorce will take longer than 61 days and this case may be heading for a final trial. It is not uncommon for parties trying to work out the terms for the division of property debts, conservatorship of children, child support, and the divorce to have difficulty reaching an agreement in that short of a time.

Typically, when spouses are not able to reach an agreement the next step is to try and get the case into mediation. At mediation, a neutral mediator will try and facilitate the parties in reaching an agreement on all issues.

Generally, the more property and the more people whose lives are affected by the divorce, the longer the divorce will last. Again, parties are always able to agree on how to resolve these issues with each other thereby speeding the divorce process.

I often tell my consults it is not uncommon for a divorce in Texas to take a year to get to final trial. However, they can always settle the case between 61 days and 1 year if they reach an agreement on the three issues.

Can I get divorced sooner than 61 days?

There are exceptions to the 60-day waiting requirement under section 6.702 of the Texas Family Code. Those exceptions include:

  1. A court may grant an annulment or declare a marriage void
  2. If the court finds that respondent has been convicted or received deferred adjudication for an offense involving family violence as defined by section 71.004 against petitioner or a member of the petitioner’s household or
  3. The Petitioner has an active protective order under title 5 or active magistrate’s order for emergency protection under article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure

How soon Can I remarry after I am Divorced?

Another common related question is “how soon after the divorce can I get married?”

Under 6.801 of the Texas Family Code a person in Texas is free to marry again 30 days after the judge signs their final divorce order, called a “decree.” It is important to note that:

  1. the Judge does not always sign the Decree on the same day that you appear in court.
  2. This works the same ways as above meaning do not marry any one until day 31.

Exceptions to the 30 day Waiting Period for Getting Remarried

Exceptions to this rule include:

  1. Divorcing spouses under 6.801(b) may still remarry each other at any time and
  2. In certain cases, under section 6.802 of the Texas Family Code a Judge will waive the 30-day waiting period if good cause shown. This requires filing a motion to request the judge to do so.

Examples of why a Judge may grant a waiver of the 30 days waiting period include:

  1. Health of one of the parties
  2. One of the parties is scheduled to take a permanent duty reassignment in other party of the world

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
  2. I Want a Texas Divorce but My Husband Doesn’t: What can I do?
  3. Am I Married? – Marital Status in Texas
  4. Can I sue my spouse’s mistress in Texas?
  5. 6 Tips – On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  6. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  7. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  8. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  9. 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
  10. Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?
  11. 5 Tips For Dealing With Your Ex After a Divorce

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