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Divorce Waiting Period

In the state of Texas, you are required to go through a sixty day waiting period in order for your divorce to be finalized. The reasoning for this is that the state of Texas does not want anyone getting a divorce without thinking seriously about their decision.

The sixty days is counted starting the day that you file for divorce. Holidays and weekends count as part of the 60 days, and the first business day after the divorce is up is the day that the divorce can be finalized. Of course, many divorces take longer than sixty days to be finalized, but sixty days is the minimum in the state of Texas.

There are only a few cases where the sixty day minimum can be waived. This happens if you have an active protection order, or if your spouse has been convicted of a violent crime against you or anyone in your household. Having deferred adjudication for that crime can also count as a reason to waive the waiting period. If you need to have your waiting period waived, you’ll need to work with your lawyer to ensure that the waiting period is skipped.

What Happens During the Waiting Period

During the waiting period, you are both married and not married. Legally, you are still married, and neither partner can get remarried during this waiting period. However, financial actions taken during this time are considered separate – so if one spouse won the lottery or took on massive credit card debt, the winnings or debt would not be considered community property.

In simple cases, the waiting period is simply a time when both parties start their independent lives and wait out the calendar until they are able to completely separate.

In more complicated cases, it can be a very difficult time. Children can be very confused by the waiting period, which is why it’s important for you and your soon-to-be former spouse to determine a co-parenting plan. Child support and custody won’t be legally determined during this time, which can make the waiting period difficult for children.

During the waiting period, you and your spouse can take time to discuss your financial situation and minimize collateral damages. If you share a business, children, or assets, you need to come with a plan for all of those things. The waiting period also gives you time for a potential reconciliation. While you may be confident that you would never want to be with your spouse again, it does occasionally happen.

How Your Lawyer Can Help With the Waiting Period

During the waiting period, you should be working with your lawyer to come up with a great agreement that will serve your best interests when the divorce is finalized. If you are in a dangerous situation, your lawyer can also help you to waive it and finalize your divorce immediately. One of the lawyers here at Merchant Law Firm can help you to navigate the Texas divorce waiting period, so give us a call today.