When you’re getting divorced, it isn’t uncommon to want to get the whole process over with and move on with your life. If you're wondering how to get a fast divorce in Texas, you'll be glad to know that there are a number of things you can do to help your divorce go as quickly as possible.
That being said, it’s important to understand that there is a sixty-day waiting period for nearly all Texas marriage dissolutions. This means that the notion of a "fast" divorce in Texas is relative-- you simply can't get an instantaneous divorce. With that in mind, let's look at some of the steps you can take to improve the chances of your divorce only taking a few months rather than dragging on for a year or more.
Whether you want to get a fast divorce because you want to move on to the next stage of life as quickly as possible or because you feel the need to get out of an unhappy marriage with haste for the sake of your mental health, it’s worth knowing that there are steps you can take to speed things up.
Depending on your situation, the methods you can use to make your divorce happen faster will differ.
Unless you and your spouse have no assets or debts to your name, one of the biggest questions will be how your property is divided up after divorce.
When you are first meeting with an attorney, you can help things move along more quickly if you have all of your financial and estate documents in order and in hand. This information will help your lawyer work out which strategies are available to you and how they advise you to approach the question of property division.
In the best-case scenario, you and your spouse are able to agree to all of the terms of the divorce and proceed with an uncontested case.
This is a much faster way to get a divorce than when any issues are contested. Though it might not always be possible, it’s worth understanding that your divorce can happen much more quickly if you’re able to come to an agreement about things like property division, spousal support, and child custody and support.
Promptly sharing any documents and information about your community estate with your spouse can help move the process along.
Under new rules that went into effect at the beginning of 2021, both parties in a divorce are required by the state to submit copies of financial documents as a part of the initial disclosures phase.
If you’re going through a contested divorce, there’s a good chance that you will be required to attend mediation before you can proceed to court. The best mediators in your area will likely have their schedules booked out far in advance, so it’s a good idea to get yourself a timeslot with them as early as possible.
Your attorney might have recommendations when it comes to which mediators they think should hear your case. If you know that your case is going to be contested, talk to them about this right away so you can book your meeting well in advance.
Not only will this help you save time waiting to see a mediator, but it will also ensure that you don’t end up settling for a mediator that isn’t as skilled or capable as you need them to be. A highly skilled mediator will be able to help you, and your spouse find an agreement that works for both of you, while a less-than-great mediator could mean that you have to take the case to court.
Courts are notorious for being booked out several months or even years when it comes to hearing cases, so it’s essential to try and work things out in mediation if possible when you want your divorce to happen as fast as possible.
There are a number of alternative dispute resolution options that you can use to help you and your spouse reach an agreement about the terms of your divorce. These include:
If you are struggling to find a good mediator in a timely fashion or didn’t have success with mediation, you might consider one of these alternative options to keep the process moving forward.
It might sound obvious, but another important step you can take to get divorced as quickly is to make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep things moving in the right direction. It isn’t uncommon for people to drag their feet, either intentionally or unintentionally, during a divorce case. This can occur for countless reasons, such as they are second-guessing the divorce, because of financial reasons, or simply because they have a tendency to procrastinate.
If you’re working with an attorney, let them know about your intention to get divorced as fast as possible and ask them what you can do to help things keep moving. The two of you can set deadlines for important milestones to ensure that you can start your post-divorce life as soon as possible.
In almost all cases, the absolute fastest you can get a divorce in Texas is sixty-one days.
This is because there is a waiting period that begins when you file your Original Petition for Divorce. Until sixty days have passed, a judge isn’t allowed to grant you a divorce unless you qualify for one of two very specific exceptions that have to do with family violence. This is (thankfully) not a common occurrence, so you should probably expect that you will be required to wait sixty days before your divorce is finalized.
Though you might be discouraged by the sixty-day waiting period, this can be a good time to make sure that divorce is something that you really want to go through with and also get everything in order, so your divorce goes smoothly if you know for certain that you want to move forward.
Not to deliver more bad news, but it’s also essential to understand that you might not necessarily finalize your divorce right on day sixty-one after the waiting period. When you can get divorced will have to do with the specifics of your case (for example, whether it’s uncontested or contested) and the schedule of the courthouse where you filed for divorce.
The average divorce in Texas takes twelve months, but that doesn’t mean that your divorce has to take that long. Contested divorces take longer than agreed divorces, and the less complicated your estate, the simpler the entire process will be.
It is possible that hiring an attorney can help everything chug along at the fastest possible pace, but it really has to do with your specific circumstances. If you are trying to represent yourself in a complicated, contested divorce case, hiring an attorney will likely help everything go more quickly and more smoothly, not to mention help you receive a more favorable post-divorce outcome.
Even if you are getting a fairly simple agreed divorce, it’s possible that hiring a lawyer will help move things along in terms of filing all the necessary paperwork and making sure that no mistakes are made that end up pushing things back. That being said, the more simple your divorce is, the better suited you are as a candidate for a DIY divorce.
Divorce simply isn’t something that happens overnight, but you can increase your chances of having the fastest possible divorce by learning as much as you can about the process. The more knowledge you acquire about family law and divorce in Texas, the less likely you will be to get surprised by something down the road. Preparation is key if you want a swift divorce, so be sure to check out our library of divorce articles for more information about Texas family law.
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