Justia Lawyer Rating
Justia Lawyer Rating
National Bar Association
Fort Bend County Bar Association
State Bar of Texas
United States District Court of Southern Texas
Texas Supreme Court
Avvo Reviews Badge
Texas Bar College
Expertise Best of 2024

Navigating the Process: Average Timeframe for a Divorce in Texas

Gavel dividing a family Getting a divorce is never an easy decision, and the length of time it takes to finalize the process can vary from state to state. In Texas, divorces can be finalized relatively quickly compared to some other states, provided certain conditions are met. However, it is important to understand that each divorce case is unique, and the specific circumstances surrounding the dissolution of a marriage can affect the timeline.

In Texas, a minimum mandatory waiting period exists before a divorce can be finalized. The Texas Family Code dictates that at least 60 days must pass from the time the divorce petition is filed with the court until the final decree can be issued. This waiting period is intended to provide spouses with an opportunity to reconcile or reach agreements regarding important issues such as child custody, visitation schedules, and financial matters, among others.

The actual length of the divorce proceedings in Texas can vary significantly, stemming from various factors including the complexity of the case and the level of cooperation between the parties involved. If both spouses can reach a mutually agreeable settlement, the process can typically be expedited. However, when disagreements and contested issues arise, it can lead to a longer and more arduous procedure.

When there are no contested matters and the spouses are in agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, a couple might opt for a so-called "uncontested divorce." This process generally involves less time and fewer court appearances, and it can often be resolved within a few months. However, it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that all necessary legal steps are taken throughout the process.

Conversely, if a divorce is classified as "contested," meaning that spouses are unable to reach an agreement on important issues, the process may take longer. In such instances, the court's involvement becomes more significant, and hearings and trials may be necessary to resolve disputes. This can result in a prolonged and more costly divorce procedure.

Moreover, additional factors may further extend the length of the divorce process. These factors can include the backlog of cases in the court system, changing circumstances during the divorce proceedings that require modifications to be made, or the need to gather additional evidence or expert opinions for certain disputed matters.

Appointing a skilled and knowledgeable divorce attorney can significantly impact the duration of a divorce case. An attorney can navigate the legal intricacies, advocate for their client's interests, and work towards a resolution. By efficiently managing the necessary paperwork, providing guidance, and employing negotiation or mediation techniques, an attorney can help streamline the process and potentially hasten the finalization of a divorce.

In conclusion, the length of time it takes to get a divorce in Texas can vary depending on several factors. Typically, the mandatory waiting period of 60 days must pass before a divorce can be finalized. However, the complexity of the case, the level of cooperation between the spouses, and the presence of contested matters can all contribute to a lengthier timeline. Seeking legal counsel, especially in cases involving contested issues, can help expedite the process and ensure that all legal requirements are met along the way.

Is Texas classified as a "Community Property" state?

When it comes to divorces and property division, the laws and regulations can vary from one state to another within the United States. In this respect, understanding whether a state follows the community property regime or not becomes crucial. In the case of Texas, it is indeed considered a "Community Property" state. This means that, in the event of divorce, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are generally considered community property, subject to equal division between the spouses.

The community property principle is a legal framework that originated from Spanish civil law and was adopted by various states, including Texas. Under this system, any property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be jointly owned by both spouses, regardless of who purchased it or whose name it is titled under. This includes not only real estate, but also other assets such as income, retirement benefits, investments, businesses, and even debts.

The concept of community property promotes an equal distribution of marital assets and debts. However, it is important to note that not all property is considered community property in Texas. Certain assets might be considered separate property, which refers to assets acquired by either spouse before the marriage, through inheritance, or as a gift. Separate property generally remains with the spouse who owns it, unless there is commingling or transmutation, where the separate property was mixed with the community property or intentionally converted into community property.

Dividing community property in a divorce can be a complex process, particularly when it involves substantial assets or disputes between the parties. Often, professional assistance from lawyers or financial experts is sought to determine the value of assets and liabilities, assess their nature (community or separate), and negotiate a fair distribution.

It is also worth mentioning that the court has the authority to deviate from an equal split of community property if it is deemed just and equitable, especially in cases of adultery, abuse, or when one spouse has committed fraud or wasted marital assets. In such instances, the court may consider a disproportionate division of community property in favor of the innocent spouse.

In conclusion, Texas follows the community property regime, which means that marital assets and debts acquired during the marriage are typically subject to equal division in the event of a divorce. While this system aims to ensure fairness in property division, it is advisable to consult legal professionals to accurately evaluate the nature and value of assets, determine community versus separate property, and navigate any complexities that may arise during the divorce process.

Talk to a Lawyer

An experienced divorce lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your divorce case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Selecting an attorney can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. In what seems like an overwhelming sea of attorneys who do you choose? Are they qualified, compassionate, and are they willing to fight for you without compromising their integrity? When faced with this decision in 2016 I received this and more when I retained Rahlita Thornton as my attorney. Since 2016 she has represented me on several court cases and I've never been disappointed. She is well versed and very knowledgeable on many aspects of the law. Attorney Thornton and her staff work diligently to ensure no stone is left unturned and justice is served. When I was crippled with fear, bullied, and felt like giving up she was my voice. She is highly recommend and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. TTW
It was a divine power that drove me to call. There are ton of lawyers online but I knew this attorney was the one for me. C.B., Divorce Client
Attention & communication is very good when working with this professional legal team. They are here to help you whenever questions arise and explain details as they go. Thank you for taking the time to accept my case & working with me. P.L.