The fastest way to get a divorce in Texas is to reach an agreement before you file for divorce. If both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce decree, it is an uncontested divorce and it is not necessary for the judge to make decisions on contested issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. Getting a divorce in Texas is fast compared to other states if it is uncontested, minor children are not involved and you make sure to pay attention to the waiting periods. The petitioner can request that the court issue a final divorce decree once all of the waiting periods have passed.
The petitioner -- the person that filed the divorce petition in the clerk of the district court -- must wait at least 61 days to finalize the divorce. In Texas, this mandatory waiting period is determined by counting the date the petitioner filed the petition and then counting 61 more days. The court will waive the mandatory waiting period if the case involves a protective order for family violence during the marriage or a court issued a deferred adjudication or final conviction against the spouse for family violence.
21 Day Wait
The petitioner must serve the spouse with the divorce petition. The petitioner must give his spouse 21 days to respond to the divorce petition before seeking a final divorce decree. Determine whether 21 days have passed by counting the date of service and then counting 21 more days. The next Monday on the calendar is the last official day of the answer period. It is possible that the 21 days will fall within or outside of the 61 days. The passage of 21 days allows the petitioner to move forward on the final divorce decree if the 61 day waiting period has also passed. However, the respondent can still file an answer at any time prior to the issuance of the final divorce decree.
7 Day Wait
Another waiting period applies when a petitioner notifies the respondent by posting the divorce petition at the courthouse. Texas allows a petitioner to post the notice at the courthouse for seven days if it is not possible to locate the respondent and there are no children or valuable property involved. The respondent gains an additional seven days on top of the 21 day waiting period for the respondent to answer. The next Monday on the calendar is the last official day for the answer period. The petitioner can finalize the divorce if 61 days have also passed.
10 Day Wait
The petitioner must wait for 10 days from the date he files the return of service with the clerk of the district court if an official process server served the divorce petition. The official process server completes the return of service form by stating how service was accomplished and where the respondent was served. You cannot count the date of service when calculating the passage of 10 days, y. Start counting the day after service. Once 61 days have also passed, the petitioner can ask the court to issue the final divorce decree.