In Texas, there is a minimum 60 day waiting period after filing for a divorce before it can be finalized. This 60 day waiting period starts the day the original petition for divorce is filed with the court. This petition may be filed before mediation, during, or after. If you are looking for the fastest timeline for your divorce, it is possible to have your divorce finalized on the 61st day after filing with the courts. It is important to realize every divorce case and mediation process is different. While many couple may find they are able to work out all of the major factors of their divorce agreement in one mediation session, others may require more time. Additionally, mediation does not work for all couples making it difficult to predict exactly how long your divorce will take to go through.
For some couples, working with your spouse and a mediator might be just what you need to obtain a divorce with as little conflict as possible. But, mediation will only work if you and your spouse are on the same page. You are more likely to have a successful mediation if all or most of the following statements are true.
You and Your Spouse Agree to Divorce
Despite what we see on television—or what we often hear from friends or family—not all divorces are contentious. In some cases, the decision to divorce is mutual. If you and your spouse agree that the marriage is over, you can file a petition for divorce together or, one spouse can file with the other’s knowledge. When you’re both on the same page, it’s often easier to negotiate and work together to find a resolution for any unresolved divorce issues in mediation.
There’s No History of Domestic Violence
With divorce mediation comes the need for frequent meetings involving both spouses, the mediator, and possibly attorneys. If you and your spouse have a history of domestic abuse, most mediators won’t take your case because it’s difficult to keep both spouses on track, and it’s challenging for the mediator to determine if the victim agrees to the settlement because of fear or intimidation from the abuser. In states that require mediation, if you can demonstrate a history of physical violence, the court will excuse you from the mandatory sessions.
Both Spouses Are Forthcoming About Finances
One of the most complicated parts of any divorce is the finances. Both spouses must be willing to provide the other (and the mediator) with sensitive information, including documentation relating to bank accounts, retirement, pensions, stocks, and all other assets and debts. In most marriages, it’s common for one spouse to be more familiar with the family assets and liabilities than the other. If you don’t have all the relevant financial information, you’ll need to investigate and understand your marital estate before you agree to a proposed property settlement.
You Agree on Custody Terms
Next to finances, child custody and visitation can be the most challenging aspect of divorce. Most parents can set aside their differences for the children’s sake, but sometimes even the best intentions are met with complications.
Divorce mediation is an excellent way to work with your co-parent to decide who should care for the children on a day-to-day basis, who should be responsible for paying child support, and the type and frequency of visitation with the non-custodial parent.
There’s no question that parents know what’s best for their children, and the most effective way to ensure that your judgment of divorce protects your children’s best interest is to negotiate the terms for custody with your spouse. If you discuss custody and reach a roadblock, your mediator may be able to offer advice or suggestions on how to resolve the issues without asking the court for help.
If you and your spouse disagree on custody, especially if there are allegations of abuse or neglect, you’ll need court intervention. The court will try to determine what arrangement is in your child’s best interests by using your state’s custody process before the judge makes a final decision.
Top Divorce Mediator in 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.