How Long does Divorce Take in Texas

People ask me all the time, how long does it take to get divorced in Texas? There are two answers to this question:

  1. There's the legally required waiting period: in Texas, it's sixty days. That means the fastest you can present a Final Decree of Divorce to a judge is sixty-one days after filing your petition for divorce.
  2. The reality of divorce with children is that it's complex and typically takes months or even years to finalize in Texas.

Is there a minimum amount of time you must be married in Texas before filing?
No, but the sixty day cooling off period applies in all cases excluding special circumstances like domestic abuse.

Residency Requirements:
To file for divorce in Texas, either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing, and must have resided in the county where the Petition is filed for the prior 90 days.

For the court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident Respondent the couple's last marital residence must have been in Texas, and the suit must be filed before the second anniversary of the date on which marital residence ended.

If one spouse has resided in Texas for the past six months and the other spouse lives in a different state or country, the spouse residing outside of Texas is permitted to file for divorce in the county in which the other spouse lives.

Military Personnel:
Texas residents serving in the armed forces and stationed outside of Texas or the U.S. may still be considered a resident of Texas. Military personnel, who have not been previous residents of Texas, but have been stationed at one or more military installations in Texas for at least the past six months, and at a military installation in a county of Texas for the prior 90 days, are considered to be Texas residents and residents of that county for the purposes of filing for divorce.

Most Texas courts will not finalize a divorce if the wife is pregnant, even if the baby is not the husband's. The court will typically wait until after the birth of the baby so that orders regarding the child can be included in the final decree.

Legal Separation:
Texas does not recognize legal separations and has no provisions for court actions regarding legal separations.

It does, however, allow for spouses to enter into a written agreement concerning the division of property & debt, and payment of spousal support while a suit for dissolution is pending. If the court decides that the terms of the written agreement are just and right, those terms are binding on the court. If the court approves the agreement, it may set forth the agreement in full and incorporate the agreement by reference in the final divorce decree.