Thursday, April 6, 2017

When can you Finalize your Texas Divorce?

Once the decision is made to divorce, one or both parties may be in a hurry to complete the process.   However, there is a sixty day "cooling off" period in Texas. This means that generally a divorce case will need to be on file for at least 60 days before finalization. 

So, why not go to court on day 61?   Well, it is possible when a case is uncontested. But, in reality, there is a lot to do between the time of filing and the time of the final hearing.   The final paperwork (Final Decree and required Vital Statistics form at a minimum) must be all ready to hand to the judge.  Property and debts will need to be split (on paper and in reality), living arrangements made, insurance figured out, and visitation and support agreements worked out if children are involved.  This usually takes a while to accomplish. Then it is a matter of scheduling an appearance in front of the judge and appearing.

Yes, there are some people who are able to get a divorce in a short amount of time but getting a divorce on day 61 is the exception rather than the rule.

So, don't be disappointed if your divorce isn't ready for finalization on day 61. It is more important to do it right than to do it fast.

Here are a few tips on how to keep things moving along:

  1. Make sure you are both on the same page.   Details matter. Finding out at the last minute that you do not really agree on one or more issues will prolong things and create stress. 
  2. Make sure you know all the requirements and meet them. If you had to take a parenting class, make sure you've done so and that you have proof. Don't forget to fill out all required forms. 
  3. Don't wait until the last minute to review and sign documents. Give yourself plenty of time to read, digest, and ask questions. Then, when you are ready, don't forget to sign. 
  4. Understand Scheduling Issues.   The Court will either schedule your case for a specific time or you may be allowed to appear on a general "uncontested" docket day in first-come-first-served order (depending on the court and the county).  This will require coordination of schedules with the court, one or both parties and one or both attorneys.   
  5. Deal with problems head-on.  If you know there is a problem pending, get it out in the open and out of the way early on. Waiting until the day of the hearing can delay the entire procedure and lead to frayed nerves. 

Family Lawyers in The Woodlands, Texas
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