You cannot get a quick divorce in Texas.
Texas does not divorce people who have just moved to the state, even if they intend to make Texas their new home. Instead, you must meet certain requirements. We will detail the Texas divorce waiting period in this post below.
Texas Residency Requirements for a Divorce
For a Texas court to divorce you, one spouse must meet two requirements:
- Texas must have been your domicile (or your spouse’s domicile) for at least 6 months
- You must have lived within the county where you file for at least 90 days immediately before filing for divorce, or your spouse must have lived within the county
At least one spouse must meet both. For example, you might have moved to Texas in 2012. But if you just recently moved to a new county, you need to wait until 90 days have passed before you can file for divorce there. However, you could file in the county where your spouse lives if he or she has been living there for at least 90 days.
What happens if you absolutely must get divorced but don’t yet have the residency in Texas? You can check with an attorney in your former home state. Some states might allow you to divorce provided your spouse still lives in that state.
Texas Divorce Waiting Period
Once you file your divorce petition, you must now wait at least 60 days before the court will divorce you. This waiting period means that the soonest you can get a divorce is 61 days after you file.
In practice, many people need to wait more than 61 days, even if they are having an uncontested divorce. Court dockets in Waco are crowded, and judges can only handle so many cases at once. As a result, you might need to wait up to 90 or even 120 days before you finally obtain your divorce.
You might be able to avoid the Texas waiting period for divorce in some situations. For example, if you are the victim of domestic violence, you can ask the judge to shorten the 60-day waiting period.
Of course, if your divorce is contested, then you will be waiting more than 60 days in any event. A contested divorce is one where both sides disagree on at least one important issue, such as child custody, child support, alimony, or the division of marital debts or property. Contested divorces vary in length, but many take more than a year to complete.
Exceptions to the Waiting Period
Regardless of your situation, divorce can be an emotionally and legally complicated experience. For help navigating the process, you need an experienced Texas family law attorney to help you.
The Waco divorce lawyers at Simer & Tetens have decades of combined experience helping men and women get divorced in this state, and we are here to help you, also. For more information, please reach out to us by calling 254-412-2300 or by contacting us online.