One of the most common questions I get as a divorce lawyer is, “How long is this going to take?”. While you may be anxious to get the process over with, keep in mind that no two divorces are the same. It is a complex process that requires adequate planning and filing legal documents with the courts. Below is a general timeline of the divorce process in the State of Texas:
Day 1: Temporary restraining orders (“TRO’s”) can be granted within a day or two after a divorce is filed. TRO’s can prohibit the other party from taking certain actions, like selling property, hiding children, and can even exclude or limit a spouse’s possession of a child in extraordinary circumstances involving abuse, neglect or violence.
Temporary Orders Hearing If Needed
First 3 Weeks: This is optional and often occurs within 14 days after filing. A judge can make TRO’s last throughout the case and also order other things like spousal support, child support, exclusive use of a residence, etc. Sometimes a hearing is requested later in a case and the hearing is typically held within 14 of that request.
Anytime: Mediation is required in many courts before a trial can even occur, including those in Smith County, and Gregg County if the trial is over 2 hours (which is likely). A settlement conference is cheaper and might resolve the case as well. Settlement/mediation can occur anytime but often occur after the parties have exchanged evidence/records formally (through discovery) or informally.
Day 61: You can officially finalize your divorce (rarely you can get one earlier). Few contested divorces end exactly on day 61 however.
Judge or Jury Trial
3-6 Months: A trial date is often set at least 3 months out and sometimes much longer, depending on many factors including how busy a court is.
In conclusion, this is a VERY general timeline designed to give you an idea of the general progression of a divorce case, not including appeal. Many other hearings, meetings or events can occur in any given case, depending on numerous factors. Each case is different and you will be notified of specific court dates/meetings/deadlines by your attorney.
Give TLC Law, PLLC a call today 903-871-1714 to see how we can help with your divorce!