According to Texas law, you must wait a minimum of 60 days after the divorce petition is filed before the divorce can be finalized. The likely purpose of the waiting period is to give the parties time to reflect and see if there is any possibility of reconciliation.
A problem that arises is that sometimes, the parties think something magical happens on Day 61 and that the divorce is automatically final. This is far from true. There are many factors that influence the timing of finalizing a divorce; rarely is any divorce finalized in just 61 days.
Do-It-Yourself-Divorce Does Not Speed up the Process
The Supreme Court of Texas has made readily available forms for parties to use in divorce cases. Couples get the forms and think they can do their own divorce. They check a few boxes, pay a filing fee of around $300.00, and then wait for the 60 days to pass.
Unfortunately, this is often like doctors operating on themselves. It is rarely a good idea.
People later seek legal help, finding out the form they signed waiving the right to be served with the divorce petition actually waived their right to notice of any further action. The final divorce decree was submitted and signed without their knowledge, and their spouse ended up with all the assets.
This is a difficult position to be in. It is difficult after the fact to ask the court for help on the issue of property division because the date the Judge signs the divorce decree starts a 30-day period within which either party can appeal the court order. There are exceptions to this deadline, but often parties find out too late and miss out on their share of the property.
As for child custody, visitation, and support, it is a little easier to ask the court to modify these orders since the court keeps continuing jurisdiction over children until the later of them turning 18, emancipating or completing high school.
Too many people come in after the divorce is granted and ask for help. The process may not have been any faster and/or they are unhappy with the outcome.
Traditional Litigation for Contested Divorces Takes Time
Traditional litigation is an adversarial process that takes time. When court hearings are required, it is difficult to predict how long it will take. Because of Covid, most courts are backed up right now and if the spouses cannot solve any of their issues between themselves, it can be a long process.
Collaborative Divorce is Generally Faster
It is easier to predict how long a collaborative divorce will take. Meetings are scheduled and hopefully, the process will conclude within just a few months. Essentially, the couple controls the timing since they are the ones who determine how and when the issues are resolved.