“When will this thing be over?”
If you find yourself asking your attorney “are we THERE yet?,” you need to know whether the delay is being caused by your lawyer, the other party, the other lawyer, or just the process. This article addresses the process of how long it takes to get divorced in Texas, based on the imprecise law of averages depending on whether you have kids, property, or both.
What is the fastest I can get divorced?
The shortest divorce in the history of Texas under the current Family Code would be 61 days long because that is the current mandatory waiting period, or cooling off time one must wait in order to finalize.
How long does it take to get divorced … with kids?
The short answer is … long.
When custody is an issue, inevitably parties must discuss and tweak Parenting Plans, including access, child support, health insurance and conservatorship, assigning parental rights and duties. The good news about cases involved disputed kiddo issues is that we know what we are fighting over from the start. Even though the emotional battle may be difficult, the reasons one may have roadblocks would be psychological issues of the other parent, addiction issues or CPS intervention. Be prepared for 6-9 months average time to finalize.
What about without kids?
If you have no kids and no property, you should have an uncontested divorce. This usually takes 3-6 months.
However, as Judge Callahan recently said, most people “at least own a toothbrush.” Whether you have $2 million or $2 dollars, you still need to divide property.
How long does it take to get divorced if there is a significant estate/property being divided?
The short answer is… the more you have to fight over, the longer it can take.
For significant estates, the length is directly affected by how much your attorneys know when you start, how transparent the financial situation is and how each side reacts. If one party is willing to drag out the fight, it will be dragged out for both.
When you don’t know what is in the pot, you enter into a divorce suit blindfolded. Thus, we have to conduct discovery, investigate what is part of separate property and what is community property. If one party hides assets, we have to sniff out the money.
Discovery is a formal process through which attorneys request documentation for all accounts, debts and tangible assets. This process can be very extended in the murky cases where funds or credit have been commingled, where one or both parties have committed fraud or where either has intentionally wasted community property. In such cases, attorneys have to trace the money and use due diligence to show their clients what they are legally entitled to.
This can take longer because of the discovery issues and the potential need for a tracing expert, a CPA or a complex Inventory to show how the money was spent during the marriage. Be prepared for an average time of 6 months to one year.
How long does it take to get divorced without property?
See above — “What about without kids?” Average time: 3-6 months.
How long does it take to get divorce with property AND with kids?
Get a comfortable seat; this is going to take a while.
The challenge in separating significant estates alongside negotiating child access/support is that we now have two moving parts with several sub-parts. As you can imagine, this is like juggling with fire riding on a bicycle: attorneys can’t speed down the street even if they wanted to do so. This is as much for the safety of their clients as well as their own professional liability.
If you have kids and property, DO NOT feel doomed when you read this. I have seen some graceful couples who are ready to move on handily end a divorce with children and property in 6 months. However, I don’t want to sugar-coat your situation. So, be prepared for an average of 9-18 months to finalize your divorce.
The Law Office of Natalie Gregg
(972) 829 – 3923
Read more at www.NatalieGregg.com.