Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
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Proverbs 22:6

How long will my divorce take?

Once a couple in Texas decides to end their marriage, they often want to do so as quickly as possible, so they can begin to move on with their life. Therefore, one of the main questions they may have during a divorce is how long it will take.

Though there is no fixed time period -- that can vary from case to case depending on the circumstances-- there is a certain way the legal complexities will flow and there is a general chronology that can be outlined of the divorce process.

The first document that is filed is the divorce petition -- also known as a complaint. This is filed by one of the spouses (or their representatives) and this document outlines the reasons for the divorce and how the custodial and financial issues between the couple will be settled. Once the complaint is filed in court, it is also served to the other spouse, in addition to a summons that requires the other party's response.

Now the ball is in the other party's court. There is a time period during which the spouse must respond, usually less than a month. Their answer basically outlines whether they agree with their spouse's complaint and if not, then their alternative with dealing the issues mentioned in the complaint. If they do not respond, it is assumed that the responding spouse has agreed to the terms of the complaint.

Documents are then exchanged between parties to make decisions relating to child support and alimony. If couples can resolve their divorce legal issues amicably, they can submit their settlement agreement to the court, which, if approved, gets them a divorce decree that shows the terms of their agreement. If an agreement is not reached, then the case goes to court and the judge decides the relevant matters and grants the divorce.

If parties do not agree with the court's decision, they can appeal it. This of course can further delay the final decision. Again, depending on the Texas resident's individual circumstances, the whole process can take from a couple of months to a number of years. The more a couple cooperates with one another, the faster the process can be completed. An experienced attorney can review a divorcing couple's situation and give them a more accurate timeline.

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