Why Does the Divorce Process Take So Long?
Divorce is part of life for many couples. The American Psychosocial Association (APA) cites data showing that as many as half of married couples will eventually get divorced. Going through a divorce is never easy—it has the potential to be a long, drawn-out process. **Why does divorce take so long in Texas? **There are a couple of key factors—and a few things that you can do to simplify the process. Our Fort Worth divorce lawyer highlights the key things you should know about the length of the divorce process in Texas.
How Long Does a Divorce Actually Take in Texas? (It Varies Widely)
Divorce can be a lengthy process, especially in the state of Texas. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, the timeline for a Texas divorce can range anywhere from 60 days to over a year. According to the Texas Family Code, the minimum statutory waiting period after a divorce is filed is 60 days.
Factors contributing to this variation include the complexity of the divorce (in terms of property, child custody, alimony, etc.), the court’s schedule, and the degree of contention between the parties. A divorce where the parties are in complete agreement on all issues can often be finalized within a few months. On the other hand, if there are disputes, the process can extend well beyond a year.
The Key Factor that Affects the Length of the Process: Contested vs. Uncontested
One of the main factors that affect the length of the divorce process is whether it is contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties are in agreement on all issues. In effect, an uncontested divorce will be finalized far more quickly because there are fewer hurdles.
In contrast, in a contested divorce, the parties disagree on one or more key issues. Put another way, the court will need to make decisions on their behalf, extending the length of the process. The parties may need to undergo a discovery process, where they gather evidence to support their positions. Mediation or trial preparation may also be necessary, leading to delays.
Know the Alternatives for a Faster, Lower Conflict Divorce in Texas
While traditional divorce proceedings can be long and grueling, there are alternatives in Texas that can help make the process faster and less contentious. Mediation is a popular option where a neutral third party, the mediator, helps facilitate communication between the parties to reach an agreement. Mediation can reduce conflict and speed up the process.
Collaborative divorce is another option where the spouses and their attorneys agree to resolve all issues without going to court. In this model, both parties share information openly and work together to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement, fostering a more positive relationship post-divorce.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Top Fort Worth Divorce Attorney Today.
At The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, our Texas divorce lawyer is committed to providing solutions-forward legal representation. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the divorce process in our state, we are here as a legal resource. Contact our family law firm today for your strictly confidential, no-obligation consultation. With a legal office in Fort Worth, we provide family and divorce representation in Tarrant County and all across North Texas.