Divorce In Texas How Long Does It Take?

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Divorce In Texas How Long Does It Take?

People often ask, “If you’re getting a divorce in Texas, how long does it take?”

Here we will discuss how to get a quick divorce in Texas, regardless if you are doing a DIY Divorce, an uncontested divorce, and even a contested divorce, because you are hot and he doesn’t want to give you up but that might not be the fastest route.

As someone who went through a divorce that spanned 2018 to 2023, I understand the urgency to justDivorce in texas, how long does it take 

What is fastest way to untie the knot in Texas?

Quickie answer: File an uncontested divorce and get that signed, notarized affidavit from your soon-to-be-ex. It means you both have given the thumbs up on all the nitty-gritty details, from who gets the dog to who’s handling the kiddos. Think of it as agreeing on Netflix shows—but, ya know, it’s your entire future.

Wait Times For Divorce In Texas

Hold your horses, before you can file for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months and in the county where you plan to file for at least 90 days.

Even in an uncontested divorce in Texas, the law requires a mandatory 60-day waiting period after you file. That’s right, you’ve got to wait longer for your divorce than you do for Amazon Prime delivery, but considering my divorce in New Jersey took just short of five years, if you manage to get er’ done in less than 90 days, consider yourself one lucky duck.

On the other hand, if you’re a catch like yours truly and your other half just can’t bear the thought of letting you sail away, welcome to the Contested Divorce Club. It’s like an exclusive VIP lounge, but with more paperwork and fewer cocktails. Contested Divorce (aka, you and your soon-to-be-ex can’t see eye to eye) means more time, more moolah, and more drama. Attorney or not, divorces don’t come with a discount tag.

But hey, let’s fast-track you to that singles cruise, shall we?

How To Get Quick Divorce in Texas

Step 1:

Consult an Attorney

a) Hire Them

b) Go Solo: If you want to get a divorce without a lawyer, aka pro se or pro per. you had better arm yourself with an insane amount of knowledge on Texas divorce laws, I represented myself for my divorce trial in New Jersey and you can read about it what I learned here.

Step 2: Get the Right Forms to Fast-Track Your Divorce:

This is a crucial step and government processes rarely make sense. All of the necessary forms can be found on the TexasLawHelp.org website, but It’s like a treasure hunt with less treasure and more bureaucracy.

Step 3: Fill Out the Forms (Properly) For a Speedy Divorce:

Miss a detail? You could be looking at months of delays. Here are your options to ensure this doesn’t slow the speedy split:

a) Dive into the Texas State Law Library. It’s like Mad Libs but swap the fun for legal mumbo-jumbo. If your spouse has a lawyer, or it’s a contested divorce, brace yourself. You’re diving deep, and it’s not into a pool of chocolate.

b) Then there’s AiLawyer. Found it after my five-year divorce marathon. Filing motions without AI? Think marathon in heels. But with AiLawyer? Drop a doc, share your drama, and it tells you which court rules to rock. Why wasn’t this in my life sooner?

Step 4: File the Forms (pay the filing fee) 

Note: Fees for filing vary from county to county, so you should contact your district or county clerk for the exact filing fee prior to filling out the forms. If you cannot afford to file, you are receiving government benefits such at Medicaid, SNAP or receiving other government assistance, you may qualify for a fee waiver. Click HERE to learn more about filing a fee waiver. Once submitted, wait for the judge to review and respond to the request before filing.  

File at local district or county clerk’s office. Where family cases are heard varies across the state, most cases are handled by district courts, some handled by county courts. Here are a few links and numbers you might need.

Texas District Clerks Association Your local county clerk’s office can provide you with the necessary forms and information to file for divorce. Texas District Clerk’s Offices
Harris County Clerk (713) 274-8600 https://www.cclerk.hctx.net/
Harris District Clerk   http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com/
Dallas County Clerk (214) 653-7099
Dallas District Clerk   http://www.dallascounty.org/
Tarrant County Clerk (817) 884-1195
Bexar County Clerk (210) 335-2216
Travis District Clerk   http://www.traviscountytx.gov/
Texas Court Fee Waiver   Texas Fee Waiver

 

Step 5:

Wait 60 Days Texas law requires a mandatory 60-day waiting period after you file. Use this time to binge-watch your favorite shows, learn a new hobby, or just enjoy the sweet, sweet silence of not arguing with your spouse.

Step 6:

Finalize the Divorce If your divorce is uncontested, you can finalize it after the waiting period. If it’s contested, you’ll need to go to court. This could take anywhere from a few months to a year, depending on the complexity of your case.

Bonus Step 7:

Celebrate Once your divorce is finalized, celebrate! You’ve just navigated the labyrinth of Texas divorce law. You deserve a party.

 

Books To Get A Divorce In Texas

 

How to Do Your Own Divorce in Texas

by Ed Sherman

This book provides a step-by-step guide to doing your own divorce in Texas. https://www.amazon.com/How-Your-Divorce-Texas-Step/dp/0944508993

The Texas Divorce Handbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Navigating Texas Divorce 

by Brian Fagan (Law Offices of Brian Fagan

Step by Step Guide to Successfully Navigating Texas Divorce. Within this book, you will find the answers you need about every aspect of divorce including:

Child custody, Child support, spousal support, 

4. Property division5. Privacy and security6. Choosing an attorney7. Specific divorce laws in Texas

https://a.co/d/i9OUcFR

 

Online Government Resources

TexasLawHelp.org – A non-profit organization providing free legal information and resources for low-income Texans. They have a section dedicated to divorce, including DIY divorce forms and instructions https://texaslawhelp.org/
Texas State Law Library – An online library with a wealth of information about Texas law, including a section on divorce. https://www.sll.texas.gov/
Texas Courts Online This official government website provides information about the court system in Texas, including a section on family law. https://www.txcourts.gov/
Legal Aid Services – If you’re low-income, you may qualify for free legal help from a legal aid organization. https://www.lsc.gov/what-legal-aid/find-legal-aid
Texas Office of the Attorney General Official child support enforcement agency for Texas https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/child-support
Texas District Clerks Association Your local county clerk’s office can provide you with the necessary forms and information to file for divorce. Texas District Clerk’s Offices
Harris County Clerk (713) 274-8600 https://www.cclerk.hctx.net/
Harris District Clerk   http://www.hcdistrictclerk.com/
Dallas County Clerk (214) 653-7099 https://www.dallascounty.org/government/county-clerk/forms.php
Dallas District Clerk   http://www.dallascounty.org/
Tarrant County Clerk (817) 884-1195 https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/county-clerk/online-services.html
Bexar County Clerk (210) 335-2216 https://gov.propertyinfo.com/TX-Bexar/
Travis District Clerk   http://www.traviscountytx.gov/

 

F.A.Q.

 

How long does a divorce take in Texas?

There is a minimum mandatory wait time of 60 days, so that is the ultimate perfect scenario minimum. However, for complicated contested divorces, you’re talking a year, but add default, uncooperativeness, and COVID-19 shutdown into the mix( which is my story and why I am writing this blog post), and the sky is the limit. My divorce in New Jersey, from the first attorney’s retainer to finalizing the divorce, took just short of 5 years.

What are the types of divorce available in Texas?

In Texas, you can file for either a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce. A no-fault divorce means that neither party is required to prove that the other spouse did something wrong leading to the divorce. A fault divorce, on the other hand, is where one party alleges that the other’s misconduct, such as adultery or cruelty, led to the divorce. This can impact property division and alimony.

What is the difference between marital property and separate property in Texas?

In Texas, which is a community property state, most property acquired during the marriage, except for gifts or inheritances, is considered marital property. This means it’s owned jointly by both spouses and must be divided upon divorce. Separate property, on the other hand, includes anything you owned before the marriage, as well as gifts or inheritances received during the marriage. This type of property isn’t subject to division in a divorce.

How is property divided in a Texas divorce?

In a Texas divorce, marital property is divided between the spouses. This includes most property acquired during the marriage. The division is intended to be equitable, which means fair but not necessarily equal. Separate property, which includes anything owned before the marriage and gifts or inheritances received during the marriage, remains with the original owner and isn’t divided.

Can separate property become marital property?

In general, separate property remains separate in a Texas divorce. However, it can become marital property if it’s commingled with marital property to the point where it can no longer be distinguished, or if the other spouse contributes to its increase in value.

What happens to the family home in a Texas divorce?

The family home is usually considered marital property in Texas, unless it was owned by one spouse before the marriage or was received as a gift or inheritance. In a divorce, the court may order the home to be sold and the proceeds divided, or it may award the home to one spouse, often the one with primary custody of the children.

How are debts divided in a Texas divorce?

Debts incurred during the marriage are generally considered marital debt and are divided between the spouses in a Texas divorce. This includes credit card debt, mortgages, and car loans. Separate debt, such as student loans incurred before the marriage, usually remains with the spouse who incurred it.

What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce in Texas?

An uncontested divorce in Texas is when both parties agree on all issues, including property division, child custody, and support. This process is usually quicker and less expensive. A contested divorce is when spouses can’t agree on one or more issues, requiring court intervention. If one spouse files for divorce and the other doesn’t respond within a specified time frame, the court may grant a default divorce.

What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce in Texas?

An uncontested divorce in Texas is when both parties agree on all issues, including property division, child custody, and support. This process is usually quicker and less expensive. A contested divorce is when spouses can’t agree on one or more issues, requiring court intervention. If one spouse files for divorce and the other doesn’t respond within a specified time frame, the court may grant a default divorce.

What Is Default Divorce?

If one spouse files for divorce and the other doesn’t respond within a specified time frame the court may grant a default divorce. It’s usually 60 days but there can be exceptions if the non-responder is convicted of domestic violence.

Does Texas provide free attorneys for divorce cases?

Texas doesn’t automatically provide free attorneys for divorce cases. However, if you can’t afford one, you might qualify for legal aid or pro bono services from local legal organizations.

What are temporary orders in a divorce proceeding?

Temporary orders are interim orders that can be requested from the court to address issues like child custody, support, or property concerns while the divorce is pending. These orders provide temporary solutions until the final divorce decree is issued. In New Jersey, they are called Pendente Lite, and it’s important to note that when it comes to the enforcement of temporary orders in New Jersey, they are not treated as child support, rather alimony. This prevented me from successfully enforcing any orders throughout this egregious case, which was a major issue considering I lost my clients due to COVID, didn’t qualify for a single supplement program, and have two kids. My point? Just get through the case as quickly as possible to avoid the circumstances I went through and to act as a fair warning because, at first, I foolishly thought the courts had my and my children’s backs on this one. HA !

What is the discovery process in a contested divorce?

I wouldn’t know because my ex disclosed nothing, which is what took the court so long, sort of. But what is supposed to happen in a contested divorce involves both parties gathering information from each other about finances, property, and other relevant issues. This can include interrogatories

What are interrogatories?

 A thick book-like stack of papers with an absurd amount of repetitive questions, made up by the opposing council, that must be answered, and you are under oath. Mine had at least 300 questions. Technically, It’s a written deposition (oral questioning under oath), and formal document requests.  An experienced attorney asks repetitive questions—I’m talking  20 different ways, to catch you in lies so they can raise concern for your ‘questionable character’ in court.

PRO TIP: Before you fill out interrogatories, make a cover page with your letterhead , make a copy, and send the opposing side the same questions  for them to answer and the same documents they requested.  They usually wait until the last second to send anything, and there is a time constraint to get every document to each party before it is filed, so don’t procrastinate at all. This is perfectly acceptable, maybe not kosher, but legal and relevant.

What is divorce mediation or alternative dispute resolution?

You know those times when kids can’t decide who gets the last cookie, so they bring in a neutral third-party (usually a sneaky older sibling) to make the call? Well, divorce mediation is kinda like that, but for adults and with way more at stake than a cookie.

So, What’s Divorce Mediation? It’s a process where both parties in a divorce sit down with a neutral third person (the mediator) to work out their differences. Think of the mediator as a referee in a very emotional soccer match. They don’t take sides; they just help guide the conversation.

And Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)? It’s like the umbrella term for all the ways you can resolve disputes without going to court. Mediation is one form of ADR, but there are others like arbitration (where a neutral person makes a decision for you) and collaborative law (where everyone works together to find a solution).

Why Bother?

  1. Save Money: Court battles can drain your wallet faster than a teenager with your credit card.
  2. Less Stress: It’s a more relaxed setting than a courtroom. No judge’s robes or intimidating gavels.
  3. You Have Control: Instead of leaving decisions to a judge, you and your ex get to call the shots.

Why Not? 

I don’t know. Ask my ex husband.

What happens if spouses can't agree during a divorce proceeding?

If you two are more stubborn than a mule and can’t agree even after mediation, then it’s off to trial. Here, a judge will hear both sides and make the decisions for you. Warning: this is the most time-consuming and expensive route.

  1. Hire a Posse: And by posse, I mean lawyers. If things are getting complicated, it might be time to get legal eagles on your side. If  you are like me and you can no longer pay for an attorney, you had better be prepared to spend weeks or months preparing. This is an absolute drain on your mental health for many reasons, but there are things that can help ease the stress. Which I have discussed in the post on pro-se-divorce

  2. Appeal (The Last Resort): If you think the judge was more crooked than a country road, you can appeal the decision. But this is a long shot and can be as rare as finding water in the desert.

How is a divorce in Texas finalized?

Once all issues are resolved in a divorce, the court will issue a “Decree of Divorce,” which officially ends the marriage. This document outlines all the terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody and support, and any other relevant issues.

Who handles child support matters in Texas?

Child support matters in Texas may be handled by various district courts, county courts at law, and child support specialty courts. However, the Texas Office of the Attorney General is the official child support enforcement agency for the state.

Does Texas recognize legal separation?

No, Texas does not recognize legal separation. This means that even if you’re living apart from your spouse, you’re still legally married until the court grants a divorce.

How can I get a copy of my divorce decree in Texas?

If you need a copy of your divorce decree in Texas, you can visit the district clerk’s office in the county where you got divorced. They’ll have all the records, and for a small fee, you can get an official cop