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How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Most people are already stressed out about the thought of having to go through a divorce. Hiring attorneys, learning to live life without a spouse, and making sure the children are alright. Due to this one of the most frequently asked questions is how quick can they be divorced?

The answer to that is not as simple, every divorce case is unique because not everyone has the same amount of drama, assets, children, whatever it may be, etc. How long it will take for you to be divorced depends on both you and your spouse.

REQUIRED WAITING PERIOD

To begin with the Texas Family Code Section 6.702 states that any “court may not grant a divorce before the 60th day after the divorce was filed.” This means that no divorce can be granted in less than 60 days. This is often referred to as the 60-day “waiting period.”

The question is now; When does the 60 days begin? The 60-day tolling period begins the day a person files for divorce.  This means that the earliest a person can be divorce is on day 61.

Purpose of a Waiting Period

Most people ask why the need to wait, because some are ready to put the past behind them. However, the main purpose of this waiting, or “cooling off” period was enacted by the Texas Legislature themselves to give the parties time to reconsider. After all this is a major even in people’s lives that they may just into based off temporary emotions. 

You will be very surprised in the many of divorce cases that end in a nonsuit, which means that the parties want to drop the lawsuit altogether and end up staying together. This does not mean that in the future they will not be able to file for a divorce again if they so choose.

Divorces Before 60 Days

With every law comes exceptions, and many will be surprised to know that there are some exceptions to the 60-day waiting period. Those exceptions include:

  1. When a court grants an annulment or declares a marriage void
  2. When the court finds the respondent has been convicted or received deferred adjudication of an offense involving family violence defined in section 71.004 against the petitioner or any other 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 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

MOST DIVORCES TAKE MORE THAN 61 DAYS

As mentioned before a divorce can go as quickly or as slowly as the two parties make it. If there is much to argue over about or if one party is purposely stalling, the process tends to get dragged out much longer than what you might expect.

Division of Assets

To begin with, in a divorce the discovery process is what can take the longest. This is because all assets and debts will need to be discovered and brought to the attention of the other party regardless if it was obtained before or during the marriage.

Most people are sluggish to obtain all records that are being asked to be produced in the other parties’ requests, and these records may take some time to be produced by the businesses and companies themselves.

Therefore, it is important that you remain on top of the ball at any of the requests your lawyer is asking of you. The quicker you provide what is being asked of you, the quicker your attorney can work to helping you reach a settlement.

Conservatorship of Children/ Child Support

Aside from property, debts, and assets, children fought over even more. This is because most parents believe they are the better parent and will fight for conservatorship of their children. Most parents do not go down without a fight, and as mentioned before if two spouses are looking to the quickest divorce route they must comply and agree with every little thing, children included.

With conservatorship comes the talk about child support, making the fight for children even more meaningful. Some parents are not always in agreement with how much they will be charged in child support so they will continue to fight to lower that amount. However, these are set by statutory guidelines and have nothing to do with the actual attorneys themselves.

Court Schedules

If you suspect that you may have to have more than one hearing in front of a judge, it is important to know that you will likely run into scheduling conflicts. Courts, just like attorneys are always very busy and may not have court dates available for any hearing until a month later.

One should know to have patience with the court system if they are attempting to get divorced on that 61st day, which is not always likely. Most scheduling problems are out of the control of the attorney and they will work dutifully to speed up that process for you.

WHEN CAN I REMARRY?

Quite often most people are in a rush to get divorce fast because they want to remarry. Under section 6.801 of the Texas Family Code a person can remarry again 30 days after the judge signed their final divorce order, or decree. This means the earliest a person can remarry is 31 days after signing a final decree of divorce. You should note however that a Judge does not always sign the decree on the same day that you will appear in court. Therefore, if you are making any plans to remarry prior you should be cautious about this strict timeline.

Exceptions to the Wait Period

Exceptions to the 30-day waiting period includes if the divorcing parties want to remarry each other they can do so at any time under 6.801(b). Also, in certain cases, a Judge might waive the 30-day waiting period is good cause is shown under 6.802. However, this requires filing a motion to request that the judge consider if you have a good cause. Some examples of good cause can include: the health of one of the parties, or is the other party is scheduled to take a permanent duty reassignment in another country.

In conclusion, the reality that most people will become divorced on the 61st day after their divorce petition have been file is likely slim to none. The countless issues that can pop up in a divorce case take their toll on the process and will slow that down. Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we will work with what we are given to help make a better outcome for you and your divorce case. Call us today set up your FREE 30-minute consultation with an experienced divorce attorney
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