(Part 2 of this series can be found here.)
Every year it seems the retail stores put their holiday items out on the shelves for sale earlier than the year before. When it’s 100 degrees outside in mid-August, I find it hard to think about Halloween much less Thanksgiving or Christmas! However, if you or someone you know doesn’t want to spend another miserable holiday season spent with a spouse that makes you feel like a Grinch, now is the time to file for divorce.
In Texas, there is a 60 day waiting period from the time the divorce is filed until it can be finalized. Actually, the Texas Family Code § 6.702 states the divorce may not be granted “…before the 60th day after the date the suit was filed.” So that actually makes the wait 61 days, but who’s counting. Section 6.702 continues to lay out situations where the 60 day waiting period is not required. However, unless there is a conviction for family violence or an active protective order in the marriage, the 60 day waiting period is the rule.
Why the 60 days? First, Texas wants to make sure the parties have time to reconcile if they are able to, and having to wait two months prevents hasty decisions. Second, during the 60 days, the parties will negotiate an agreement, or at least start making a plan to divide the assets of the marital estate. Third, there are procedural tasks that must be completed as well as documents to be prepared, and those things take time. The bottom line is while the clock is ticking on the 61 days, the lawyers should be working toward getting the parties through the divorce process.
Most divorces take much longer than 60 days. The average divorce in Texas takes 15 months! (2015 stats). In our experience, 90-120 days is a very goodminimum divorce timeline for most folks because an agreement that fairly divides the estate and accounts for possession and access to the children, child support, health insurance for the kids, and more often can’t be reached within 60 days. Keep in mind that both parties may not even know what all they have to divide when it comes to bank accounts, retirement accounts and more, and it takes time to discover what the couple actually owns. For a discussion about community property in Texas, see here.
Still, knowing divorce processes take time, savvy lawyers like Youngblood Law, PLLC will take action to schedule dates and deadlines early in the proceedings to keep things moving. Keeping things moving is important because there is not maximum time limit on a divorce; it could take a year or more to even get a court date for a final trial in many courts! (For a discussion about things you might need after the divorce, see this video.)
So now we know the typical minimal waiting period for a divorce, and we can see why we should file for divorce in the summer if we want to be single for the holidays. If the thought of spending one more Christmas with some in-laws you can’t stand and a spouse that makes you miserable isn’t appealing, then summer is the time to file for divorce! Filing even in late August could see you single in time for Santa Clause.
Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas family law firm that uses a holistic approach to help people get through family law problems and beyond. We never recommend rash decisions, and for more things to consider when filing for divorce, see here. We recommend that #beforeyournext make sure this spouse is your ex! This essay is intended for educational use only, and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC. For more information contact us at 817-601-5345, find us on the web at www.youngblood-law.com, or on your mobile device, open your browser and type in lawfw.biz and press Go.
Paul Youngblood #beforeyournext #lawfw #youngbloodlaw