How Long after Mediation Is Divorce Final in Texas?
- Divorce finalization timeline
- Process after mediation to finalize divorce
- Factors that speed up the finalization process
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 grant the finalization of 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 that 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 people are able to reconcile with their spouses before the 60-day waiting period ends.
If you do not plan to reconcile, this means that the earliest you could be legally divorced is on the 61st day after you file a divorce petition with the court.
How long will it take?
Every mediation is different, and it does not work for all couples, so it is difficult to know how long a divorce will take.
Other factors could impact the length of your divorce process, too. For example, if your spouse has been convicted of domestic violence, the court can 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 the process was successful.
An unsuccessful mediation means more work must be done to reach the end of the divorce process. Successful mediation can streamline the process for everyone.
Unsuccessful mediation means that you and your ex cannot agree on the terms of your divorce. Therefore, the divorce will have to go to trial for a judge’s decision. Whatever decision the judge makes is final. Reaching this point can be time-consuming, expensive, and disappointing for all parties.
On the other hand, successful mediation means that you and your ex are able to agree on the key terms of your divorce. It does not mean that you and your ex reconcile; it means that there are no (significant) obstacles to finalizing your divorce proceedings.
The next step after successful mediation is entering an agreed final order. When the judge signs this order, the divorce is completed.
A successful mediation translates to a quicker divorce.
What factors speed up the finalization process after mediation?
If you and your ex are able to agree on the terms of the divorce, this will speed up the finalization process after you’ve entered mediation. If all financial and other marital assets are open and disclosed, this can make for a rapid mediation.
An uncontested divorce is another way to speed up the finalization process. An uncontested divorce is when spouses do not challenge any specific issues within the terms of the divorce, such as giving up additional assets or assuming more liability.
For a judge or impartial mediator to consent to the resolution between you and your spouse, child custody and spousal support must be reasonable, fair, and in the best interests of the child.
Filing for a no-fault divorce is another way to hasten the finalization process after mediation. In Texas, a court can grant a divorce without either spouse being at fault for the end of the marriage. In other words, you and your spouse are simply unable to co-exist due to “irreconcilable differences.”
In no-fault divorces, the court holds that neither you nor your spouse is responsible for the marriage breaking down. Filing for a no-fault divorce means there is no need to prove the grounds for divorce, so the finalization process is speedy.
An uncontested no-fault divorce
A divorce that is both uncontested and no-fault is generally the quickest option. With such a divorce, there doesn’t tend to be a dispute 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 mutually agreeing to end the marriage in this way will still be the quickest path to finalizing the divorce.
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ReferencesFiling a Divorce Without Children. (January 2023). TexasLawHelp.org
Why You Should Try Mediation For Your Divorce in Texas. (January 2022). Texas Legal, Lone Star Advocate.
Divorce and Mediation. (January 2023). TexasLawHelp.org.
Divorce Mediation: Definition, Pros & Cons. (2023 Guide). (February 2023). Forbes.