Couples seeking a divorce have a lot of questions about how the process works, and one of their main concerns is how long the process will take. When will everything be finalized so they can move on with their lives?
In Texas, there are some time constraints that do make the process less than expedited. To meet the grounds for a divorce, a petitioner or respondent must have been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding six-month period and a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for 90 days.
Time living outside of the state while in the service of the armed forces is considered as residence of the state and county for the purposes of divorce filings.
From filing to finalization
Once a suit is filed, there is a waiting period of 60 days before the court will declare the divorce final. While the suit is pending, the court can direct the parties to receive counseling from another party named by the court. That counselor only gives an opinion as to whether or not there is a reasonable expectation that reconciliation is possible.
If the court believes there is, it can put out a written order for the parties to continue further counseling for a period not to exceed 60 days.
If there is no chance for reconciliation and the 60 days is passed, the court can grant the divorce as final. However, depending on the complexity of the divorce, it can still take longer to complete. A divorce, unless there are special circumstances, will not take less than 60 days from filing.
Texas couples also have to hold off wedding plans for a second marriage after a divorce. While it can be waived by the court, most parties have to wait to remarry until the 31st day after the divorce decree is signed. Henry VIII of England, known for ending old marriages and starting new ones quickly, would not have fared well in Texas.
There are many ways in which a divorce can become time consuming. Couples who are looking to speed up what could be a potentially lengthy process should consider hiring a divorce attorney who can develop a legal strategy to avoid drawn-out proceedings.