Going through a divorce can be an emotional time. Although it may be something you didn’t plan, you do want closure if the marriage has ended. It’s not easy to move forward while you’re still going through the process, but it helps to know when the divorce will be final. Hopefully, I can help you understand how long it takes to get a divorce and what goes on in the process.
How long does a divorce take?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. The statutory waiting period will depend on where you live. In Texas, the required waiting period is 60 days, which means there must be 60 days between filing the petition for divorce and finalizing it. It’s rare that a case that actually gets finalized immediately after the end of the waiting period. The Texas legislature intended the waiting period to give spouses time to think clearly about the decision they’re making.
What goes into the length of the divorce process?
Many of my clients spend time working out emotional damage. They could be upset with their spouse for several reasons. They may not have wanted the divorce. The relationship could have not gone as expected. Outside of emotional factors, not all divorce proceedings are cut-and-dry. We must come to agreements or gather evidence to show what is fair and equitable. It could involve child custody agreements, finances, or property. If a case requires discovery, that takes time too.
For instance, one party may have been in control of the finances. If we can’t get the information we need, we’ll have to conduct discovery to get a clearer picture of the marital estate. It works the same way with a child custody case. We may need to do discovery or a child custody evaluation (social study). Social study investigators take an extensive look into the parties’ lifestyles, which often takes months to complete because they do home visits, sessions with the parents and children, and find out what loved ones and references have to say. Organizing this information often motivates settlement at mediation and helps the judge streamline the evidence at trial.
How to Speed up the Divorce Process
The speediest divorce would be one that’s uncontested with no property or child custody disputes. One thing you can do to prevent delays in the divorce process is to try to set aside your emotions and have a reasonable talk with your spouse about how best to shield your children from the process and how to divide up your property. That is a far better approach than leaving it to a Judge to decide your fate.