man waiting for a divorce in texas

Last Updated on March 2024

An uncontested divorce in Texas takes on average 3 months to complete and can be finalized in a little over 60 days if the court is not busy. A contested divorce takes between six months to a year to come to a resolution.

There are quite a few factors influencing the Texas divorce timeline that we are going to cover in this article. Knowing them will allow you to speed up the process if it is possible.

Texas Waiting Period for Divorce

The waiting period needed for the couple to settle down all the possible disputes concerning child custody and support, property division, and alimony if it is needed. This time is also called the ‘cooling-off period’ during which the spouses should decide whether they indeed wish to end their marriage.

Texas divorce waiting period is 60 days. If you have filed for uncontested marriage dissolution, it means that all you have to do is wait for the mandatory waiting period required by the state to pass. After that, you will be able to set a date for the final hearing.


Note that the cases when you can get a hearing the day after the waiting period has passed are pretty rare. County courts that review family law cases are usually quite busy, and it may take another week or more before you can finalize your marriage dissolution.

The waiting period may in some cases be shortened. For instance, if you or your children are the victims of domestic abuse or if other circumstances exist that could harm you or your children. However, it would be advisable to have legal counsel assist you in this situation.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Texas?

Uncontested divorce in Texas usually takes around 3 months and can be finalized in a little over 60 days if the court is not busy. If both parties agree to end their marriage amicably, without putting the blame for some misconduct on their spouse, they should only follow a simple legal procedure. It would be necessary to file the paperwork with the court, complete the process of service and disclosure, and wait for the final hearing.

If you engage in an uncontested divorce, meaning that you have no disputes on any of the abovementioned aspects, you have a variety of options on how to end your marriage. Hiring a lawyer, in this case, is not necessary, and you can complete the paperwork and file it on your own without incurring additional costs.

texas divorce eligibility check

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

A contested divorce in Texas, unlike an uncontested one, cannot be finalized as quickly. Such process of divorce in Texas, and in other states for that matter, is likely to last for at least 6 months. The harder it is to resolve the disagreements between spouses, the more time their case will take.

Your and your spouse’s lawyers will likely try to help you settle before going to court if that is possible. If you agreed on some but not all the aspects of your divorce, such issues would be presented to the judge along with the evidence from both sides.

Lawyers will need time to gather witness testimonies and expert opinions, if necessary, as well as prepare for the trial. It is likely that you will have to make multiple court appearances that can be weeks or months apart, which implies that you may spend years trying to divorce.

If you are unable to settle on your own but wish to do so, mediation may be a solution. A professional mediator can help you reach a consensus on critical matters and make the divorce process simpler. If mediation is successful, an uncontested divorce can be granted.

Texas Divorce Timeline

To end the marriage, you must go through several steps of the divorce process. Their duration will determine how long the dissolution of marriage will last in your case.

1. Filing for Divorce in Texas (4-6 weeks)

To start the process, you need to prepare the necessary divorce papers and submit them to the clerk’s office. The filing itself can take a few hours. However, you may spend from several days to a few weeks on preparing the forms, depending on the case type and the method you choose to complete the paperwork. You will need a few days to get documents for an uncontested divorce using an online service. On the other hand, searching for the forms on your own and filling them out can take about a week or more.

2. Serving Spouse with Divorce Papers (2-4 weeks)

After you submit the paperwork to the court, you must notify the defendant about filing a lawsuit and serve them with the mandatory documents. You should ask a constable, sheriff, or a private process server to deliver the paperwork to your spouse by certified mail or in person. On average, this step can last from several days to a week. You can avoid it if your spouse signs a waiver of service.

3. Waiting for Response (4-8 weeks)

The defendant needs to respond to the Petition no later than Monday following 20 days after being served. This stage is not required if the respondent agrees to waive official service.

4. Attending Court Hearings (8-12 weeks)

Spouses have to complete a 60-day waiting period before the first hearing on the case can be scheduled. How many hearings you will have to attend depends on your specific situation. This stage can last from one week to several months or even a year.

5. Finalizing the Divorce (4-6 weeks)

After all the divorce terms are resolved, the judge will sign the Final Decree of Divorce. You will need to file it with the clerk’s office and get its certified copy. This process usually doesn’t take long.

The divorce time frame in Texas depends on many factors and stages of the process. Uncontested cases typically take less time to finalize, while contested ones can last for months.  

How Long Does It Take for a Divorce to Be Final?

From start to finish, the divorce process in Texas state can take at least 60 days, which is equal to the mandatory waiting period. In some cases, it can last much longer and reach several months or even a year. The timeline depends on many circumstances, including the attorneys’ and court’s schedule, the number of contested divorce terms to resolve, the need to serve a respondent, and other factors.

finalizing divorce in texas

Many couples mistakenly believe that their marriage dissolution is final after the hearing. However, divorce is final after the judge signs the divorce decree, and you file it with the court clerk. The decree will include either terms of a settlement agreement or the court’s decisions after a trial. You will also have to order certified copies of the divorce certificate to keep.

Factors Affecting the Length of a Texas Divorce

divorce process duration factors

Getting divorced in Texas, you need to understand which of your decisions or legal processes may prolong the process. In general, there are three factors that will affect the length of the divorce proceedings in Texas:

  • The need to divide property
  • Disputes over child custody
  • Court caseload.

1. Marital Property Disputes

If you were unable to agree on property division, this matter would be decided in court. According to Family Code, Texas is a community property or 50/50 state. It means that all the property and debts acquired while you were married and resided in Texas will be divided equally.

In this regard, all property that is in possession of the spouses must first be classified as community or separate. Some of the things that will be classified as personal possessions (with exceptions) include:

  • Gifts and inheritance
  • Property and debts acquired before marriage or after legal separation
  • Parts of the property purchased with personal funds.

After the classification is completed, the court should decide on the division of assets, considering many factors, such as:

  • Age and health of each party;
  • Employment status and education;
  • How many years the couple has been married;
  • Whether there are children in this marriage;
  • Whether there is any separate property;
  • Any possible fault;
  • Any fraudulent activities.

If you or your spouse are not willing to divide the property without the court being involved, you will have to each hire lawyers and other experts such as assessors, accountants, and investigators. All of this prolongs the divorce process and makes it extremely expensive.

2. Child Custody Disputes

Spouses always have an opportunity to discuss the potential custody agreement and reach a consensus. Courts usually provide various opportunities to parents to peacefully resolve this matter.

If you cannot agree on child custody during divorce, which is referred to as conservatorship in Texas, a court will do it for you:

  • The TX courts make a decision about the rights and duties of parents based on the best interest of the child.
  • The judge may take into account the wishes of your child if he or she is over the age of 12.
  • All the court’s decisions are made on a permanent basis in the final decree or Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship.
  • If you or your spouse wish to change the decision later, you will have to wait and present significant evidence that this change is in the best interest of the child.

You may also need a child custody evaluator, who can only be appointed by the court. It means that you cannot hire a private evaluator.

This person will inspect the family situation, find out about any possible cases of abuse or neglect, talk to the child, and then present a report to or testify as an expert witness in court.

3. Court caseload

Wondering how long it takes to get a divorce without any disputes? Even with an uncontested case, you may not obtain your decree right after a 2-month waiting period. There are cases when spouses have to wait for 90 to 120 days if judges are overwhelmed. However, there is no need to worry because you still have a chance to get a divorce within a little over 2 months.

How to Speed up Your Divorce in Texas?

To get a quick divorce in Texas, you need to do anything to resolve property division and custody disputes with your spouse and make your case uncontested. You may involve mediators, legal consultants, and other experts in the process to reach decisions that you would deem fair.

If you do, our company will be able to provide you with case-specific and court-approved divorce papers in Texas. Working with us, you won’t have to wonder what’s next as we provide a comprehensive divorce solution for a flat fee of $139.

All you need to do is fill out a short questionnaire with well-detailed tips and wait for paperwork to be delivered to you. You will receive instructions on every step you need to take once you have your forms to start and finalize your marriage dissolution as fast as possible.

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Create your free account to see if you’re eligible to file for online divorce in Texas. Complete all paperwork from the comfort of your home, with no hidden fees.

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