How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Texas?
While some divorces are filed without hesitation, some couples may not have all the kinks worked out. If you and your spouse don’t see eye-to-eye about the reason for your divorce, the process may take longer to resolve. Keep reading to learn about the divorce process here in Texas, and how our attorneys at James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C. can help.
Starting Your Marriage Dissolution
In Texas, a divorce is also termed a 'marriage dissolution'. This process begins when either spouse, known as the Petitioner, files a petition with the court requesting that their marriage be dissolved. To file this petition, you must have resided in Texas for at least six months and be a resident of the county you are filing for at least 90 days.
A dissolution petition often includes guidelines for orders such as child support and child custody and is best filled out with an attorney's help. However, a judge can also award temporary orders until your case is settled — such as temporary residence in the family home and child visitation rights. From here, you will either move into negotiations and eventually trial with your spouse or agree to the terms of your petition and settle.
Uncontested Divorces vs. Contested Divorces
In Texas, a divorce can be filed in fewer than 61 days. There are two different ways to file for divorce in Texas, and your filing status will impact how long your divorce proceedings take.
Also known as a default divorce, a couple can file an uncontested divorce if they can quickly resolve their issues without a lengthy court battle. After any negotiations are worked out on the terms of the divorce, an agreement is reached, the Respondent, in writing, will have to waive their legal right to contest the case.
At your default hearing, the terms of this agreement will go into effect according to the judge, who will finalize all court orders, render a divorce decree, and close your case.
Filing a contested divorce means that the couple will need to go to court to challenge their case's details and come to a decision. Suppose you are the Respondent of the marriage dissolution petition. In that case, you will need to decide if you want to negotiate a settlement agreement or contest one or more divorce issues. When a couple doesn't agree on the terms of a divorce, the divorce is considered contested.
Couples who file a contested divorce require an attorney and the Texas family court to resolve essential matters in their divorce. Therefore, a contested divorce case in Texas typically takes much longer than an uncontested divorce.
What Happens During a Divorce Trial?
A couple filing a contested divorce will enter negotiations and will go to trial to finalize the details of their divorce if mediation fails, including asset division, child custody and support, and alimony.
Before trial, a couple will enter the discovery phase to uncover important information about their marriage. If additional information is needed, you may be deemed to attend a deposition with your spouse. After this, the couple may choose to enter or a judge will require mediation to discuss the terms of their divorce. If no agreement is reached, the couple will go to trial, where a judge will make a ruling over the terms of their divorce.
Can I Appeal My Divorce Orders?
If you are unhappy with your divorce results and feel the orders are not fair, you can appeal. This will bring your court orders back before the judge, where they will rule on any modifications that need to be made.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce?
Though you'll likely only need to go to trial with your spouse if your divorce is contested, either way, having an experienced family law attorney is critical when filing for divorce in Texas.
A seasoned lawyer can help you be awarded the right amount of alimony, child support, child custody, or visitation time and that your assets are appropriately divided. Additionally, an attorney and their team will ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed without hiccups — a step that can often impact your case's results if done on your own without representation.
Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Denton
We have a reputation as being strong advocates for our clients. Our attorneys are well-equipped to provide you with the representation that you need at such a challenging time in your life.
Whether you’re filing an uncontested or a contested divorce, our experienced and determined team of attorneys at James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C. can guide you and your family through the process.
To book a consultation, call our office at (940) 310-6122.