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How long does a divorce take in Texas?

People in unhappy marriages may spend weeks, months or even years trying to make a relationship work. Once they finally decide that divorce is the only feasible solution, they often want to conclude the process as quickly as possible.

The fact that divorce laws differs significantly between states leads to people sometimes have unrealistic expectations about an upcoming divorce in Texas. For example, they might expect to go from filing their paperwork to formally divorced in just a week or two.

What is the timeline like for a Texas divorce?

Every divorce requires a 60-day waiting period

Divorce is not instantaneous even when spouses agree on all major issues. One spouse must serve the other with appropriate paperwork. Then, that spouse has the opportunity to respond. If they do not, the divorce proceedings will move forward by default.

If they do respond, then their answer to the filing determines what happens next. If they accept the terms suggested in the paperwork, the couple could potentially have their divorce finalized after 60 days of waiting.

However, the 60th day after filing is not automatically when the courts finalize the divorce. You may have to wait for a hearing in front of a judge, which could add several more weeks to the process even in an uncontested divorce.

Contested divorces take longer

If the spouse responding to the filing contests the terms suggested by their ex, then the two of them will most likely have a more lengthy process for their divorce. When couples litigate their divorce proceedings, the process could take six months, a year, or possibly even longer than that.

The more contentious the process, the more complex the case and the more evidence the courts must consider, the longer it will take to resolve everything. Of course, getting things right is better than resolving things quickly. You don’t want to argue over every little issue just to prove a point, if that will significantly increase the overall cost of your divorce. On the other hand, you don’t want to make major concessions just to speed up the process. Having realistic expectations about the timeline for a Texas divorce and what outcomes the law supports will help you make better choices about when to fight and when to compromise.

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