Many clients have concerns about the length of time a divorce may take. I understand that you want to move on with your life and plan for the future and that a pending divorce can be stressful. The best way to finalize a divorce quickly is to have clearly defined goals. That way we can choose the best strategy to meet those goals quickly.
Every family law case is different and no lawyer can guarantee how long a case will take. In general, if the parties agree on most issues you can finalize a divorce in a few months. If the parties do not agree and require a trial to finalize the case it may take 1-2 years to finalize a case. In Texas, you must wait at least 60 days from the date of filing to finalize a divorce (there are some very limited exceptions). Contested cases always take longer than agreed cases. Contested cases are also more expensive. In many cases clients compromise in order to achieve finality and certainty and avoid future litigation expenses. We can help you decide when to litigate, and when to settle. Our firms has decades of combined family law experience. We have seen it all and can bring the full weight of that experience to your case.
What can cause a delay in a divorce case?
1. Discovery- Each side is allowed to request documents from the other side, and ask the opposing party to answer questions about the case. This is called discovery. This process can take a few months to finalize.
2. Mediation- The judge may require both sides attend mediation before setting a final hearing in a divorce case. In Kaufman, most mediations are given a 60-90 day window.
3. Court dockets- To set a hearing in a civil case requires some degree of cooperation between the parties and an available date from the court. Family courts are frequently busy and reset many hearings because of over crowded dockets. It is not uncommon to appear for a hearing, only to be told to come back in a few weeks.
4. Cost- A contested family case can cost thousands in fees and expenses (experts, ad litems, discovery costs, home studies). Many clients need to save money before taking the next step in litigation. We can help you decide when to invest in litigation, and when to settle a case.