Divorce is likely one of the most stressful events people can go through. Although it may take months or even years for a couple to make the decision to divorce, once they do, they typically want it to be over with as soon as possible. So, it’s no surprise that two of the most common questions we hear are, “When is a divorce final?” and “How long will my divorce take?”
Each specific case is different, so there is no way to provide a definitive timeline on divorce proceedings. But if you’re wondering about how to get a divorce in Tarrant County and how long it will take to go through the whole process, here are some basic guidelines:
The 60 Day Law
In Texas, the shortest possible time a divorce can take is 60 days. This is because by law, you must wait at least 60 days from when you file your petition until the divorce can be finalized.
But in reality, most divorces take longer than this. There are many potential complicating factors that can lengthen the proceedings, including child custody issues and the need to come to an agreement about how to allocate your assets.
In some cases, the divorcing parties are unable to agree on all or some of these issues, and a trial is necessary. When a divorce goes to trial, both sides present their case to a judge, who then makes a legally binding ruling on the unresolved issues.
A trial will significantly increase the time it takes to finalize your divorce. In Tarrant County, it typically takes six to 18 months to get a trial setting.
What You Can Do to Speed Up Your Divorce
While there are certain legal realities that limit how quickly you can finalize your divorce, you and your spouse do have a good deal of control over how long it will take.
The number one thing that you can do to speed up your divorce proceedings is come to an agreement beforehand on how to divide your property, what the custody and access terms will be for your children, and how you will handle child support. If you listen to your attorney about what is a fair agreement, your divorce will take much less time than if you end up going to court.
But, the reality is that property and custody are often contentious issues in a divorce. It is not uncommon for the separating parties to have different ideas about what is fair. Many times, you have to decide how important a fast divorce proceeding is to you, and weigh that against what you are willing to give up in order to get it over with quickly.
A divorce is a difficult, emotionally trying time, and not understanding the legal process only makes it harder. That is why it is important to have the right legal team on your side, guiding you through each step from beginning to end and making sure you understand all of your options.
If you have any questions about your divorce, including how to start the divorce process in Tarrant County, give Hoppes & Cutrer a call. As your local experts in family law, we can help you move through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.