Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?

This is another in a series of questions I am frequently asked. My answer will be in the context of a non-Collaborative divorce case.

There is a minimum 60-day waiting period that is imposed by the Texas Family Code. The time begins when the divorce petition is filed. After the 60 days is up, the divorce can be granted at any time if there is a full agreement. To get to that point, the parties both need to have information about the important issues and facts of their situation. In addition, each needs to be able to trust that the other party will do what he or she says will be done. The attorneys must draft and get agreement on the language of the final decree of divorce, and that occasionally takes more time than expected, or at least hoped for.

Also, both parties need to emotionally be ready to be divorced. If either party wants to try to stay married and refuses to give up on the marriage, they can slow down the process by various means of foot dragging and the insistence on following standard procedures.

A divorce that can be completed right after the 60 days is up is very unusual. It can happen in some cases, such as:

  • a short-term marriage,
  • a very simple set of facts,
  • minimal assets (although sometimes those people are the worst fighters) or
  • where the parties have worked out a lot of the details before the divorce was filed.

Quick divorces may also take place where someone :

  • feels guilty,
  • is scared or
  • is extremely anxious to move on with their life.

Occasionally, one party has enough dirt on the other party that they can force capitulation.

Sometimes, the parties are just realistic, reasonable people who can sit down together and work things out -- but that's very rare.

A better answer would be to estimate that, in Tarrant County, it will take at least 3 to 6 months, if most (not all) things are agreed, and a year or more if one or both parties are not in agreement on the final terms.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You! Your information was the information I needed without confusing me further.