How Long Do You Have to Be Separated Before Divorce in Texas?

The family law differs from one US state to another. Although there are many similarities, every state does have some particular rules and regulations. If you're wondering - how long do you have to be separated before divorce in Texas, we'll answer your questions in this article. Find out which steps you'll need to take and what each of them implies.

Blank decree and two wedding rings.
How long can you be separated before getting divorced? Read on to find out.

How Long Should a Separation Last Before Divorce?

Many legal and marital experts discourage clients from a long separation period. Still, taking a break if the marriage is breaking down is often a smart step to take. During this time, both parties should think about their relationship and communicate properly to reach an understanding. However, this period can last between three to six months, but in some cases, it lasts up to three years. Ultimately, some separations don't necessarily lead to getting divorced, although the majority do. Around 80% of couples who get separated eventually file for a divorce.

Do You Have to Wait 2 Years to Get Divorced?

In some states, you need to have the evidence to convince the court that your marriage has reached an unfixable stage due to adultery, unreasonable, or criminal behavior first. Once you collect solid proof, you won't have to wait for two years. These types of behavior are fault-based, and in those cases, the other spouse can request a court hearing. However, there's no such law in the Lone Star State. So if your prime concern is - how long do you have to be separated before you can file for divorce in Texas? - you can relax. One spouse would need to be a resident of the state for six months and a county resident for at least 90 days. If that's your case, filing a petition is smooth and easy.

A person holding a ring.
You can file the petition if either of the spouses has been a state resident for six months or more.

How Long Is the Contested Divorce Process in Texas?

Sometimes spouses can't get to a mutual agreement concerning some important separation elements. In those cases, the court has to interfere. Luckily, only 10% of married couples in the US need to resolve their legal issues and property division with the help of legal representatives and a judge.

This procedure is known to be time-consuming and expensive. The whole process can last anywhere from several months to more than a year, depending on the individual factors and conditions. Still, there's a minimum waiting period. Texas law requires that you wait at least 60 days after filing the petition before the court officially allows the dissolution.

The Steps You Must Take

These are the necessary steps of every divorce process in Texas you must know of:

  • The first step is filing a petition. Unlike uncontested divorce, in these more complicated cases, spouses can't file for divorce online. Firstly, you should find an adequate county court.
  • Notifying your spouse formally is the next step. You should send them a Service of Citation, composed by an attorney.
  • After this stage, couples should try to reach a compromise. They often get help during the negotiation. This is especially important when divorcing in Texas with children.
  • Although nearly 90% of cases don't end up in trial, you should still prepare for it.
  • Once both sides have laid the evidence and claims, the process can be finalized. Texas is one of the 50/50 states, which means that all belongings must be split equally in case of no-fault divorce.
Wooden mallet and wedding rings.
Learn about the length and steps of a contested Texas divorce.

How Long is the Uncontested Divorce Process in Texas?

This option is far less complicated, painful, and costly. However, to take this route, you'd have to meet the criteria listed by the state family law. Also, you should visit the TX Courts website to obtain the necessary forms. Besides the mandatory two-month waiting period, the rest of the procedure shouldn't take more than another month or two.

Things You Should Know about No-Fault Divorce Procedure

A no-fault divorce means that couples don't have to blame the other party in order to get divorced quickly. These end on good terms and make the entire process easier for everyone involved, children and other family members included. Moreover, you can discuss an online divorce with your partner, which is quite handy, especially if you're getting divorced during Covid.

How to Reach Mutual Consent

If you're at the stage where you're uncertain about getting divorced (or reconciling), the best way to use the time on your hands is to practice patience, tolerance, and mutual respect:

  • Separated couples should communicate frequently and politely,
  • You should both be transparent about your intentions,
  • Honoring the agreed terms eases the process and every step along the way. Even when there's no binding contract involved, both parties should strive to act reasonably and do the right thing. This way, getting divorced will cause less stress and financial struggles. If you need someone who can help you determine how long to stay separated before a divorce, look for additional help. Consult an attorney and other marital experts.
Person signing a document.
Be honest, transparent, and stay informed.

Are You Still Married if You Are Separated?

There are three main types of separation:

  • Trial: The option that works best if you're still contemplating reconciliation. Still, you would need to establish some ground rules, mainly regarding the material goods and finances.
  • Permanent: This alternative suits those who don't intend to get back together. It implies separate lives and leads to getting divorced, while the assets get split according to the state laws.
  • Legal: This category is the closest one to actual divorcement. You wouldn't be legally married, but you'd still be unable to remarry until the entire process is finished.

Regardless of the category you and your spouse fall under, being separated isn't the same as being divorced. Although you chose to live in different homes and lead separate lives, you are still formally a couple. In addition to that, many people choose legal separation over divorcing. That way, they can still use some benefits, such as health insurance, or to avoid child custody and child support issues.

A person taking a ring off
Until the process is finished, there are some common rules you must follow.

Texas Family Law: How Long Do You Have to Be Separated Before Divorce

According to the freshest data, 10.60% of couples in Texas get divorced. Still, the main question is - how long do you have to be separated before filing for a divorce? The Lone Star State's legal regulations make the waiting period quite short and simple. Firstly, there's the mandatory cooling-off timeframe which lasts for 60 days. Additionally, if one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for half a year and a county resident for at least three months, you can file a petition and dissolve your marriage. The length of the entire process, however, varies depending on each case and its complexity. Still, when you contact the most reputable Texas divorce attorney office, you will reduce stress and ease each step.