Divorcing couples often want to know if they can get a quick divorce. The answer to the question depends on what they mean by “quick.” According to Texas law, the earliest date the final divorce decree can be issued is 60 days after the spouse who did not file the divorce petition receives notice that the divorce petition was filed.
Factors Affecting the Timing of the Final Divorce Order
In a short-term marriage with no children and few or no marital assets to divide, and no issues for the court to decide, the divorce can reasonably be final at the end of the 60-day period. It is really 61 days after the non-filing party receives notice since the day following the notice is counted as day one.
The problem is that it is rare that the spouses can resolve their issues in 60 days. They need to agree on:
- Division of assets. Texas is a community property state. This means all assets the spouses accumulated during the marriage are owned equally by them both. This means retirement plans through one party’s work, all IRAs, 401(k)s, cars, boats, houses, etc. Separate property remains separate property. It often takes time to determine which property is separate and which is community.
- Child custody and visitation must be agreed upon or ordered by the court. In Texas, custody is referred to as conservatorship and visitation is referred to as possession.
- Will there be spousal support?
If the spouses can sit down together or with a mediator and resolve all these issues quickly between them, they can put their agreement in writing and file an Agreed Decree of Divorce with the court. The court will review it and if it approves it, it becomes the final divorce decree.
This happens rarely. The spouses often need more time to work with a mediator and may need more than one session to resolve their issues. If an issue needs court intervention, it will take time to get a date with the court.
If issues cannot be resolved between the spouses or with the help of mediation, then a trial must be scheduled. It takes at least 75 days to get a court date starting with the time the date is requested, and it may even take longer.
If there are any issues that need to be resolved by the court, it is almost impossible to have the divorce be final in less than six months. Often it takes even longer than that.
For answers to your family law questions, and to see if a quick divorce is possible for you, contact attorney Daniel Abasolo at Springer & Lyle. You may also call him at 940-387-0404 to schedule a consultation.