According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most Americans that get divorced will get remarried within five years. How soon is too soon, though? How long after divorce can you remarry in Texas?
Most states don’t have a waiting period before remarriage after divorce, but Texas is an exception. You must allow thirty days between the finalization of your divorce and entering a new marriage to ensure that both spouses have a full thirty days to appeal the terms of the divorce after the decree has been signed by a judge.
In most states in the US, you have the option to enter a new marriage immediately after your divorce. In eight states and Washington D.C., however, there is a mandatory waiting period that mandates individuals wait a certain period of time before getting remarried after a divorce.
Texas is one of the states with a mandatory waiting period. You must wait 30 days after your divorce is finalized before you can enter a new marriage.
The other states (and D.C.) with mandatory waiting periods for remarriage after divorce are:
In Texas, along with most of the other states where there is a mandatory waiting period, the amount of time required between divorce and remarriage aligns with the appeal period for couples to fight their divorce.
In some states, your marriage isn’t technically finalized, and divorce decrees aren’t issued until the waiting period is over. This means that couples in these places are still legally married until the waiting period has reached its completion.
This isn’t true of Texas, though. In Texas, your divorce is finalized when the judge signs the divorce decree. That being said, you still can’t legally get remarried until thirty days have passed. There are a few exceptions to the rule, which we’ll explore later in the article.
The parties involved in a Texas divorce suit have thirty days to file an appeal after a divorce has been finalized. The waiting period exists to ensure that both spouses have the option to appeal the terms of the divorce agreement. When thirty days come and go after a divorce, both spouses can know with certainty that the divorce terms aren’t going to change, and they can move forward with a new marriage if they so choose.
It’s worth noting that there is also a sixty-day waiting period between when you file for divorce and when a judge can finalize your divorce. On top of that, there is a 72-hour waiting period after getting a marriage license before you can legally marry in Texas. This means that there is at least a 93-day period between filing for divorce and getting remarried to a new spouse.
You can find more information about the typical timeline of divorce in the Lone Star State in our guide to how long a divorce takes in Texas.
There are two exceptions to the mandatory waiting period after divorce before getting remarried:
In the next section, we’ll look at some of the reasons why a judge might choose to waive the waiting period. If you’re wondering whether it’s ok to start dating again before you have your final divorce decree in hand, take a look at our article about what to watch out for when dating before divorce is final in Texas.
It is possible to have your thirty-day waiting period waived. You can do this by filing a motion with the judge, and this motion can be filed without the agreement of your former spouse.
However, a judge will only grant such a waiver for “good cause.” There are a number of circumstances that can qualify as good cause, including:
The decision of whether or not to waive the mandatory waiting period is ultimately up to the judge. If you feel you should be able to remarry before the thirty-day period is over, you might consider hiring a family law attorney to help you make a strong case for the waiver.
If you are getting divorced without a lawyer, make sure you read our guide to pro se divorce in Texas. For ideas about how to keep costs down during divorce, take a look at these cheap divorce options in Texas.
Though it can be frustrating to realize that you are barred from getting remarried right away after your divorce, it is a good idea to respect the thirty-day waiting period.
If you get married to a different person before the waiting period is over and you don’t receive a waiver from the judge, your new marriage is considered “voidable.” For a period of time, your marriage could be challenged.
Getting remarried before the end of the waiting period also gives a disgruntled ex-spouse an opportunity to challenge your new marriage or otherwise create legal drama. It is simply easier to wait thirty days before entering a new marriage so that you don’t end up back in court with your new marriage found to be void.
Getting remarried can have an impact on the terms of your divorce in some instances.
If there are any material changes in your assets during the thirty-day waiting period after divorce, your ex-spouse can question whether this new property was actually owned while the marriage was still legally binding. This is one of the reasons it is so important to wait thirty days after divorce before getting remarried.
Similarly, it’s generally a good idea to wait to remarry until your ex has complied with all of the property division agreement terms and transferred all of the property that is now rightfully yours.
Getting remarried won’t have an impact on the custody rights of a parent unless the remarriage is found to not be in the best interest of the child. For instance, a judge could alter the custody arrangement if one of the parent’s new spouses is found to be abusive.
Getting remarried after a divorce typically means that you will no longer be able to receive spousal support. These payments from one spouse to another after divorce don’t intend to support the spouse receiving the money indefinitely– instead, they intend to help the recipient make ends meet until they can get the education or training necessary to support themselves.
Unless you’ve received a waiver from the judge to enter a new marriage or you are remarrying the spouse you just divorced, it is best to abide by the mandatory thirty-day waiting period outlined under Texas Family Law. Otherwise, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to legal trouble and the potential for your new marriage to be voided.
Getting divorced is a stressful life experience for anyone, but learning about your rights and responsibilities under Texas Family Law can help make the whole process go much more smoothly. For more information about divorce, marriage, and more, check out our Texas family law blog.