What’s the Waiting Period for a divorce in Texas?
The waiting period for a divorce in Texas is 60 days from the date the Original Petition of Divorce was filed at the courthouse. When the other party was served with the initial divorce papers does not effect this waiting period. The 60 days is calculated from the date of the initial filing. See Texas Family Code Sec. 6.702
Other states have long “separation periods” or some period of time when the parties must live apart from one another. Texas has no such requirement.
There are exceptions to the 60 day waiting period for a divorce. Both exceptions focus on whether there was family violence in the relationship. If one of the parties has been convicted of a criminal offense dealing with Family Violence (or placed on deferred adjudication for it) then the 60 day waiting period may be waived. This is up to the discretion of the Judge. That request needs to be included in the court filings and made part of the conversation during a hearing. Having a protective order issued on a party due to family violence is another exception to the 60 day waiting period. This would be something more than the short term 30-90 day emergency protective orders. This exception applies to the longer 1-2 year protective orders.
When timing your divorce, keep in mind these deadlines. If you want to be divorced before the end of the year, for tax purposes, then filing the initial paperwork would have to be done in October in order for the 60 day waiting period to run before the end of the year.