How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced?
If you are considering divorce, or even if you have already begun the process, you may be wondering how long it will take. The simple answer: 60 days or more. Uncontested divorce cases may take as little as two months. Contested divorce cases frequently take six months to a year, but could go longer depending on the severity of the disputes.
Of course, you may want a more specific answer than that, which requires a closer examination of the facts of your case. Ultimately, the amount of time will depend on the number of contested issues and your and your spouse’s willingness to work together to reach agreements. To help you understand the process, we have provided the following timeline:
Petition For Divorce
The first step in the divorce process is for one spouse, referred to as the petitioner, to file an original petition for divorce with the court. The other spouse, referred to as the respondent, will be served divorce papers. Spouses working together can waive the serving process.
At this stage, a temporary restraining order may be requested. These orders often serve to protect marital assets from being depleted while the divorce is in progress. Temporary orders may also be issued to address parenting time, child support and spousal support.
A fair outcome requires that both parties have all of the information about assets and other issues. During the discovery process, both parties will be required to share documentation and other necessary information. This stage can be particularly important if one party believes the other is hiding assets or not reporting the full extent of his or her income. A skilled lawyer will know how to use this process to ensure all facts are on the table.
We believe strongly that the majority of divorce disputes can be resolved through negotiation. Many people find that, with our careful guidance, they are able to reach creative and positive outcomes that they never would have achieved had they let a judge decide for them. Furthermore, negotiation is often less stressful, and can save time and money.
We can serve as your advocates through traditional negotiation or through mediation, which is facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator. Keep in mind that Texas law actually requires that divorcing parties attempt mediation prior to proceeding to trial.
If negotiation is successful, your attorney will prepare an agreed decree of divorce. This will document the terms of the agreement. You will sign it. Your spouse will sign it. The divorce decree will then be turned over to a judge, who will also sign off on it.
Go To Trial
At Weinman & Associates, P.C. in Austin, we have built a successful trial record over the course of more than 20 years handling contested divorce cases. If attempts to reach an amicable resolution through mediation are unsuccessful, we will aggressively advocate for you in court.
Going to trial is essentially letting a judge reach decisions on your behalf. Therefore, success at trial requires that a lawyer be able to clearly and carefully communicate all of the pertinent facts, while making a persuasive argument for the judge to decide in favor of the client. We know how to build cases for success at trial, and we are time-tested in this venue.
After the trial, the court’s rulings will be documented in a final decree of divorce, which will be signed by the judge and binding for both parties.