The divorce process can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many steps to follow, and the amount of paperwork seems endless! Fortunately, hiring a lawyer can help as well as familiarizing yourself with the steps you need to take to get the process rolling. Today, we share a divorce timeline to help you get ready and know what to expect.
To Get Divorced, You Need to Meet the Residency Requirement First
You cannot file for divorce in the state of Texas, unless you meet the residency requirement. Either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months (that is 6 continuous months). Additionally, one of you must have been a resident of the county (90 days minimum) where you decide to file your paperwork.
How to Get Divorced in Texas: A Timeline
Typically, obtaining a Texas divorce goes as follows:
Petitioner files an Original Petition for Divorce
One spouse will file this document with the court as long at the residency requirement has been met.
Petitioner serves their spouse the divorce papers
Your spouse has 20 days to file a response (unless this happens on a weekend, he/she will have 20 days plus the next following Monday to do so).
Spouse responds and together they work on a divorce agreement
You both can then collaborate to come to a decision regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, and asset and property division. If you can do so, you can hen have your lawyers prepare a divorce decree. If you cannot agree, you will need to go to court to have a judge make your agreement for you.
Court date is set
Before trial, you are required to go to mediation sessions to attempt to resolve your differences.
Court creates an agreement for you
If mediation does not work, your case goes to trial. A judge will determine how to resolve your issues and then prepare a Final Decree of Divorce.
How Long Does It Take for a Divorce to Finalize in Texas?
This depends on if your divorce is contested or uncontested. A divorce cannot be finalized for at least 60 days after the original petition is filed with the court. Once this period has passed, a divorce agreement can be established. Therefore, a divorce agreement could happen in as little as 2 months and a couple days. However, if the divorce is contested and the couple cannot agree on anything, the divorce could take anywhere between 6 months to a year to resolve.
Do you need assistance navigating your divorce? Contact our office online to schedule a consultation.