When our Woodlands divorce lawyers first meet with a new client, they usually have two questions. The first thing they want to know is how long it will take for their divorce to be finalized. The second thing they ask is how much it’s going to cost them to get divorced. The answer to both questions is – it depends.
When it comes to getting divorced in Texas, there are some things that are out of your Texas divorce attorney’s control. For example, we have no control over the fact that your spouse is contesting the divorce. Another thing we have no control over is your marital situation. If you have children or a lot of assets, it is naturally going to take longer to get divorced.
Our Woodlands divorce lawyers are very familiar with the law. They also know the court rules inside and out. Unfortunately, they cannot change the facts. Certain divorce cases inevitably take longer than others. Until you come in and meet with one of our Texas divorce attorneys, we won’t have any idea how long it will take for your divorce to be finalized by the courts.
Here, we will discuss the factors that can impact how long it takes for your divorce to be completed. We will also do our best to answer any questions you may have about the court’s rules on divorce. If you still have questions after reading this article, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with one of our Woodlands divorce lawyers right away.
It Depends on Whether Your Divorce Is Contested or Uncontested
When it comes to divorce in Texas, there are two kinds. There is a contested divorce, where your spouse is fighting the divorce. These cases usually have a lot of back and forth between your Woodlands divorce lawyer and your spouse’s attorney. If you and your spouse are not able to agree to terms, it can take a long time to hash out your divorce settlement.
The second kind of divorce is an uncontested divorce. In these cases, your Texas divorce attorney doesn’t need to waste weeks or months negotiating a marital settlement agreement with your spouse’s attorney. Both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have hammered out most of the issues before you even hire your Woodlands divorce lawyers.
In these cases, it is realistic to expect your divorce to be finalized in a matter of months. We usually tell our clients to expect it to take anywhere from four to six months. This gives your Texas divorce attorney a little bit of a cushion in case they do run into issues with your spouse’s lawyer.
Do You and Your Spouse Have Children Together?
One thing that can make it much more difficult to finalize your case quickly is if you and your spouse have children. Much of your marital settlement agreement will be about your children. Some of the issues that need to be discussed in these cases include the following:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Child visitation
- Health insurance for the children
- Whether the kids will stay in the marital home
- Who will pay for your children’s outside activities
- Special issues if you have a child with a health condition or disability
It usually takes about two or three times as long to finalize a divorce where children are at issue. Overall, you can expect it to take anywhere from nine to fifteen months for your divorce to be finalized.
Your Woodlands Divorce Lawyer Will Have to Look at Your Debts and Assets
The other thing that may make it take longer for your Woodlands divorce lawyer to finalize your divorce is your marital assets. If you and your spouse weren’t married long and have no joint assets, that will make your Texas divorce attorney’s job a lot easier. However, if you have several joint assets (and debts), it could take a few months to negotiate an equitable distribution of your assets.
There Is a 60-Day Mandatory Waiting Period in Texas
Even if you and your spouse agree to every single term in your divorce, it will still take at least three months to resolve your case. Texas may not have a mandatory separation period, but it does have a mandatory waiting period.
Your Woodlands divorce lawyer cannot file for a final divorce until it has been at least sixty days from your initial filing. Imagine that you filed for divorce on January 15th, 2023. Your Texas divorce attorney cannot even apply for a final hearing date until at least March 15th, 2023.
Your Texas Divorce Attorney Will Do Their Best to Resolve Your Case Quickly
If our Woodlands family law attorneys could make the divorce process easier, they would do it. However, what we have come to learn is that very few divorce cases are resolved in less than four to six months. Many take anywhere from six months to a year.
Given the fact that the Texas family courts require you to wait sixty days after filing to finalize your divorce, it’s not realistic to think your divorce can be resolved that quickly.
Of course, once the sixty days have passed, your case may move along quickly. For example, if you have no children and little to no mutual assets, your case should go smoothly. Unless you or your spouse run into any major issues, your Texas divorce attorney should be able to wrap up your divorce in about six months.
If you are anxious to get the divorce process started, we can help. All you have to do is call so we can set up a date and time to come into the office. Sit down with one of our experienced Woodlands divorce lawyers and discuss your case in detail.