How Long after Mediation Is Divorce Final in Texas?

In Texas, it takes 60 days after mediation for a divorce to be finalized. If the divorce is uncontested and no-fault, it may be possible for the court to finalize the divorce as soon as the waiting period is over.  

How the divorce finalization timeline works in Texas

The state of Texas has a minimum waiting period of 60 days from the time of filing for a divorce before you can appear in court with the signed and completed final decree of divorce to complete the process.

The 60-day period goes into effect the day the original divorce petition is filed with the court (and your spouse is served or signs the service waiver). The petition can be filed before, during, or after mediation. This is laid out in the Texas Family Code, which says that a court cannot grant a divorce before the 60th day after the filing of the divorce to ensure that both spouses are intent on seeing the process through. (Occasionally, some couples reconcile before the 60-day waiting period ends.)

If you do not plan to reconcile, the earliest you could be legally divorced is on the 61st day after you file a divorce petition with the court.

Understanding the 60-day waiting period

You may want your divorce to move quickly, but the divorce time frame is enshrined in Texas law.

Per Texas family code 6.702, you must wait at least 60 days between filing for a divorce and completing it.

If your marriage has been touched by family violence, you may ask a judge to waive the waiting period. Otherwise, you must wait for 60 days, and the clock starts ticking when you file your original divorce paperwork.

A divorce is a serious and permanent legal proceeding. The waiting period is designed for partners to have time to  understand the consequences of their decision. It also gives the divorcing couple time to deal with the details concerning their splitting of assets and debts.

Exceptions to the waiting period

Texas laws allow people to apply for exceptions to the waiting period. All of them involve family violence. The following are reasons a court might be willing to speed up your divorce:

  • Convictions: If your spouse has been convicted of family violence against you or a member of your household, you can apply for an exception.
  • Deferred adjudication: If your spouse has been accused of family violence but no conviction was ever entered, you could ask for an exception. First-time offenders are sometimes offered this kind of deal.
  • Court order: If you have an active order against your spouse due to family violence during the marriage, you can apply for an exception.

How long will it take?

It is difficult to know how long a divorce will take. If you decide to use mediation to help figure out your divorce terms, know that the amount of time you'll need with your mediator can vary. Some couples can wrap up their agreements in one session, and some couples need multiple sessions. And, some couples have an unsuccessful mediation, which means they have to go to court.

Other factors could impact the length of your divorce process, too. For example, as we've mentioned, if your spouse has been convicted of domestic violence, the court could waive the 60-day waiting period. However, you would first have to file a motion to waive the waiting period. You would then have a hearing scheduled for the court to determine whether the waiting period should be waived.

What does the process look like after mediation to get your divorce finalized?

The course of the post-mediation process depends on whether mediation was successful.

Steps after an unsuccessful mediation

An unsuccessful mediation occurs when spouses cannot agree on the terms of their divorce despite working with a mediator on the details. It means more work must be done to reach the end of the divorce process. The divorce will have to go to trial for a judge's decision. whatever decision the judge makes is final. This can be time-consuming, expensive, and disappointing for all parties.

Read: Successful Divorce Mediation Tips and Tricks

Steps after a successful mediation

If mediation is successful, the divorce process is streamlined for everyone. Because you and your ex have agreed on the key terms of your divorce, there are no significant obstacles blocking your way to the finalization of your divorce.

Note: Successful mediation does not mean that you and your ex have reconciled.

After a successful mediation, follow these steps to complete your divorce:

  1.  Complete the right forms. If you have children, fill out a Final Decree of Divorce (Set B), Child Visitation Possession Orders, and Income Withholding Order for Support. If you have an opposite-sex marriage with no children, fill out a Final Decree of Divorce (Set A). If you have a same-sex marriage, fill out a Final Decree of Divorce (Set D). You both must sign the forms.
  2.  Attend a hearing. Bring your completed forms to a hearing in front of a judge.
  3.  Get signed copies. The judge will sign your documents and give them to you.
  4.  File your documents. Turn in your signed documents at the clerk’s office at the courthouse handling your divorce.

A successful mediation translates to a quicker divorce.

What factors speed up the finalization process after mediation?

Texas is a no-fault state. This means you don’t have to prove that anyone did anything wrong that led to the split. You can’t make a divorce move faster based on blame, as this is never required.

However, there are things you can do to make your divorce go faster:

  • An uncontested divorce makes things faster. The term "uncontested" means that spouses agree on key issues like child support, child custody, asset splits, and debt responsibilities. A contested divorce, on the other hand, involves people who disagree on one or all of these topics. They need a judge to help them settle their disagreements so they can split up.
  • A mediator can help a divorce shift from contested to uncontested. The discussions you have in a mediation session can help you resolve your issues so you can move through your split faster.

An uncontested no-fault divorce

A divorce that is both uncontested and no-fault is generally the quickest option.

With such a divorce, there do not tend to be disputes over spousal support, custody of children, visitation rights, and the division of marital assets. There may still be legal and financial questions to address, but both spouses agree to end the marriage in the same manner, making this the quickest path to finalizing the divorce.

Frequently asked questions

Can we fill out paperwork during mediation?

Yes. Some people use their final divorce forms as conversation starters during mediation sessions. You could settle on terms together while you talk.

Will the mediator file the paperwork for me?

No. A mediator can help you determine how to fill out each line of the form, but it’s up to you to take the forms to the judge during your hearing.

Is my divorce final when the judge signs my forms?

No. You must file the signed forms with the clerk in the courthouse to finalize them. You can’t skip this step.

Does mediation make my divorce move faster?

It can. If you use mediation to handle disagreements, it might be quicker than going to court to settle the issues.



Filing a Divorce Without Children. (January 2023).
Why You Should Try Mediation For Your Divorce in Texas. (January 2022). Texas Legal, Lone Star Advocate.
Divorce and Mediation. (January 2023). 
Divorce Mediation: Definition, Pros & Cons. (2023 Guide). (February 2023). Forbes.
Family Code, Title 1: The Marriage Relationship. Texas Constitution and Statutes.
I Need a Divorce. We Have Children Under 18.
Divorce in Texas. (January 2023).
Divorce Specialists
After spending years in toxic and broken family law courts, and seeing that no one wins when “lawyer up,” we knew there was an opportunity to do and be better. We created Hello Divorce to the divorce process easier, affordable, and completely online. Our guiding principles are to make sure both spouses feel heard, supported, and set up for success as they move into their next chapter in life.