Category: Process

How Long Until My Divorce Is Finalized in Texas

How Long Until My Divorce Is Finalized in Texas?

Does Texas have a waiting period for divorce?

In Texas, a judge may not grant your final divorce until at least 60 days have passed after you filed the divorce petition. The only exceptions to this waiting period are in cases involving domestic violence, when the petitioner has an active family violence protective order against the respondent, or the respondent has been convicted of a a domestic violence crime against the petitioner or someone else in the household. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.702 (2022).)

Although your divorce will be final when the judge signs the divorce decree, neither you nor your spouse may marry someone else until another 31 days have passed. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.801 (2022).)


What is the divorce procedure in Texas?

Filing for divorce in Texas involves several steps:

  • Filing the divorce petition. One spouse (the “petitioner”) will file an Original Petition for Divorce and accompanying documents with the court clerk in the county where either spouse has lived for 90 days.
  • Serving the divorce papers. The petitioner then must either have the divorce papers personally served on (hand-delivered to) the other spouse (the “respondent”) or have the respondent sign a waiver of service and simply accept the documents from the petitioner.

The next steps in the Texas divorce process may depend on whether you’ve filed for an agreed divorce or a contested divorce.

  • Answering the divorce petition. In a contested divorce, the respondent has 20 days to file an answer to the divorce petition. In an uncontested divorce, the respondent may either file an answer in that time or simply return the signed waiver of service.
  • Standard temporary orders. Either spouse may ask the judge to issue standard temporary restraining orders, including orders meant to preserve the couple’s property during the divorce proceedings. Judges might also issue these orders on their own, if they think it’s necessary. (Tex. Fam. Code §§ 6.501, 6.502 (2022).)
  • Financial disclosures. If the respondent has filed an answer, the spouses must exchange certain information and documents about their property, retirement plans, and other financial matters. (Tex. Rules Civ. Proc., rule 194.2 (2022).)
  • Finalizing an agreed divorce. Both spouses must sign and file a Final Decree of Divorce, which could be included with the initial paperwork. After the waiting period (more on that below), the court will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will review the divorce papers and, if everything is in order, will sign the final divorce decree.
  • Finalizing a contested divorce. Typically, contested divorces will go through discovery, the legal process for getting evidence from the other spouse and from experts (like custody evaluators and financial analysts). The process could also involve multiple motions and court hearings on issues that crop up during the divorce, including requests for temporary support (more on that below). Most couples negotiate a settlement at some point during the process, usually with the help of their lawyers. The judge may order the couple to participate in mediation. (Tex. Fam. Code § 6.602(a) (2022).) If the spouses aren’t able to reach a complete settlement agreement, the’ll have to go to trial to have a judge decide any remaining issues for them.


At Renken Law Firm, our experienced divorce attorneys can help you navigate your divorce case and reach an agreement that fits your needs and timeline. For those who are interested in having the quickest divorce possible, we suggest mediation, as the process is quick and affordable. While divorce mediation is typically much faster than litigated divorce, it will still require you meet the 60-day waiting period in order to have your divorce finalized. Our attorneys can help you navigate the most difficult of issues including child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and more. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you through your divorce process.


Affordable Divorce Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.


Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
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What Are The Steps For Getting Divorced in Houston

What Are The Steps For Getting Divorced in Houston?

Divorce Procedure in Houston

In order to divorce your spouse, there are many things you will need to do in order for Texas courts to grant you an official divorce. Most commonly. A Texas divorce will require you and your spouse completing the following steps:


-First of all, one spouse, who will be identified as the petitioner, will file an Original Petition for Divorce with the court. The person most commonly has the papers served to the other spouse, who can be identified as the respondent. If this is a divorce where both partners wish to work together, this step can be avoided by the respondent waiving their rights to be served with the Original Petition for Divorce. Doing this will speed up the process and take away some of the initial legal paperwork.


-Whenever the petitioner files the Original Petition for Divorce, they can speak to the courts and ask for a standard temporary restraining order to be issued in their divorce case. The point of this restraining order is to help both parties reach a fair settlement in their divorce. The restraining order can be used to ensure no assets are altered or disappear before they are divided, as well as legally require both parties work together in a civil manner with no threatening behaviors.


-In divorce cases where there is not a Temporary Restraining Order issues, the respondent will have a 20 day period plus the next following Monday, in which they can file a document known as, “an Answer.” During this time, the court will also in some cases see it appropriate to place temporary orders. These temporary orders affect a wide range of issues in the divorce including temporary custody agreements, visitation, use of shared property, as well as financial orders. In some cases, these temporary orders can even include guidelines that impact the payment of the interim attorney’s fees.


-In cases where the spouses think they are lacking important information from one another, they can engage in what is known as discovery. This is the process where spouses can exchange information and important documents that are relevant to the couple’s finances and debt.


-After all of the information has been shared to both parties satisfaction, the spouses can begin to discuss the settlement specifics of their case. They can do this either directly or under the guidance of their attorneys, or a mediator. Mediators are third parties who do not specifically work for one spouse, but instead try to help them reach the most amicable and fair solution for everyone in the case. If the couple is able to work out an agreement, an Agreed Decree of Divorce will be prepared for both parties to sign as well as the judge in


Houston Texas Divorce Professionals

Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative. We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.


Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #618
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767