Divorce Process Frequently Asked Questions


How long does a divorce take?

The length of time depends upon various factors, such as the complexity of the issues involved and the motivations, personalities, and time constraints of the parties and lawyers involved. The minimum amount of time allowable by law is 60 days from the filing of the petition for divorce. This is required by the state of Texas, no final divorce order can be entered into the court record prior to the 60-day “cooling-off” period. It is possible that some divorces may be granted as soon as the 60-day period lapses, but most divorces take much longer.

Do my spouse and I both need divorce attorneys?

If you hire a lawyer to represent you in your divorce, the lawyer cannot represent both parties. Parties generally do have separate lawyers in complicated or contested divorces in which they cannot agree on major issues to ensure the adequate protection of their own interests.

What does no-fault divorce mean under Texas law?

The term no-fault divorce means it is not necessary to claim fault of one or both spouses to obtain a divorce. In Texas, a no-fault divorce is filed on grounds of insupportability (also known as irreconcilable differences in other states). Spouses may also file divorce on fault-based grounds, including, but not limited to, cruelty, adultery, and abandonment.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process that involves the parties and their counsel meeting with an attorney mediator to discuss and hopefully document a settlement agreement.  A mediation can be scheduled early in the case if the parties have adequate information on which to base an informed decision about settlement, or it may follow a more thorough informal or formal discovery process.  In some cases, the parties may schedule more than one mediations in an effort to resolve all their issues.

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative Law is a formal, statutory process where the parties enter into a contract to work together without going to court. It involves a series of meetings between the parties and their attorneys, and generally with other neutrals such as financial advisors and counselors, designed to gather information, explore options, and devise solutions for meeting both parties’ needs without resorting to court intervention.  The parties continue the process until they reach a final agreement or until one party determines that they are at an impasse.  The parties’ counsel may not serve as litigation counsel except to ask the court to approve the settlement agreement.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement and an impasse is declared, then both parties must fire their lawyers and hire new counsel to finalize their divorce.


Texas State Law Library Resources

This guide was created to provide information about divorce in Texas. On this page, you will find a general overview of the divorce process. You will also find information for people who are filing for divorce without an attorney. Other pages explain specific parts of the divorce procedure in more detail.

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Travis County Protective Order Unit
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If you have been a victim of family violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking and are considering applying for a protective order, contact the Protective Order Division as soon as possible.

Travis County Law Library 

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