Whenever I meet with a client for the first time, I am usually asked, “How long will it take for me to get divorced?”  The answer is much simpler than you think.

I answer this question with “It all depends on you and your spouse.”  Yahoo Finance recently had an interesting article about a Connecticut divorce and subsequent litigation that has been pending for over 10 years. Connecticut investment adviser David Zilkha and his ex-wife, Karen Kaiser, were married for five years before Kaiser filed for divorce.  A little over two years after filing for divorce, the Judge granted the couple a divorce.  Since that time, there has been over eight years of litigation regarding the children and legal costs with no end in sight.

Texas has a mandatory 60 day waiting period before you can get divorced.  The 60 day waiting period begins the day a person files for divorce.  This means the 61st day after a divorce petition is filed is the earliest date you can get divorced in Texas. 

It is important to keep in mind there are only two ways you are going to get a divorce in Texas: 1) a final trial or 2) an agreement.  If there are ten issues and you and your spouse can only reach an agreement on eight of the ten issues, then you will need to have a final trial over the two remaining issues.

The more two spouses are on the same page and are in agreement, the quicker and cheaper the divorce process will be.  However, when spouses do not agree over issues pertaining to the divorce, litigation ensues with the result being hearings before a Judge to decide the issues that cannot be agreed upon between the spouses.  Sometimes, it is impossible to reach an agreement with a soon to be ex-spouse and the Court’s intervention is necessary.  However, the majority of divorces usually have some form of give and take when it comes down to negotiations and decision making.

Bottom Line – how quickly you get divorced in Texas depends on you and your spouse being able to cooperate and reach agreements.

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.