Trying to figure out how long your divorce will take to complete is probably one of the most frequently active pursuits of any person preparing for a case. I can’t say that I blame you for looking to the end of something as unpleasant as a divorce. If you can focus on completing your case as effectively as possible, you will be able to get past the roadblocks and difficulties of the issue much more effortlessly. I think it is wise to remember that all things, good and bad, have come to an end.
When we plan with clients regarding divorce, we look at some factors about how long it could be expected your case to last. Some of the significant issues that 10 to linked in a case are discussions over conservatorships of your children, child support, and generally speaking, the ability of you and your spouse to negotiate with one another or all critical factors in determining how long divorce is could end up lasting. However, before we discuss any of these topics, we need to get into what a typical divorce looks like in terms of a timeline.
The timeline of a divorce in Texas
The Texas family code states a 60 day waiting period for you to get a divorce in Texas. That timeline begins at the moment your divorce petition is accepted by the county or district clerk. From there, It is truly up to you, your spouse, and the circumstances of your case to determine how long the case will last period; for many people, a divorce needs not to last longer than the 60 day waiting period itself. Simple divorces and spouses who are willing to work together to complete their case in short order can see themselves not taking too long to complete their case at all.
For instance, suppose that you and your spouse are relatively young, own little to no property, have been married for a short period, and have no children. In this case, your divorce should not have to be very long if you and your spouse can stand the ball and focus on your case. For instance, if you can prepare a final decree for divorce, negotiate through issues regarding The matter and then work through any other issues, a short and to the point divorce could that only be possible but to be expected. After all, you do not have to sort through any issues regarding conservatorship of your children, work to decide what to do with your marital home, or divide up any Community property.
Otherwise, you would need to work through various issues of your case regarding these subjects and more. Most horses in Texas are concluded with negotiation rather than by a judge in a courtroom. This goes against what you may have been led to believe is the case from movies and television shows. We often see that people who are involved in long divorces either have highly complex issues or are not focused on completing their cases as quickly as possible.
Another issue that I see a rise in divorce is from time to time are cases where the people involved seem to have more of an interest in arguing with their spouse or partner rather than trying to resolve the actual issues of their case. It is easy to become caught up in shouting matches or back and forth with a partner who is unwilling to negotiate or engage with you on a reasonable basis regarding your case. Indeed, it is concerning when someone does not work with you reasonably to complete a divorce. Your motivation to complete your divorce must be met by a push from your spouse to do the same.
Divorce can seem like a long process if you are not using the time wisely. In my opinion, using the time wisely would mean That you actively engage in negotiation with your spouse regarding the most central issues to your case. For instance, if you know that conservatorships are going to be very important in your case, you should spend the time negotiating on this subject. Going through parenting schedules, rights, duties, the logistics of both parents seeing your child, and limitations like these are sure to find that you spent the time more wisely than arguing back and forth with your Co-parent. In my own experience, I can tell you that parents who use their time wisely and negotiate through the crucial issues of their case end up finding that their case is resolved sooner rather than later.
This is as opposed to people in your position who do not use their time wisely and instead spend most of it arguing over Issues that are emotionally charged but irrelevant to the long-term impacts that your case can have. For instance, I have involved in a case some years ago where the parents who were going through divorce constantly had issues with the pickup and dropping off of their child. We can see that these issues were not to be critical years down the line. These folks were having some problems getting the logistics right of picking and dropping up the kids after working before school started on Mondays. However, both our client and the opposing client, we’ll go back and forth with each other and get into heated arguments that would last for the better part of a week.
All the while, they could have been using this time more wisely to negotiate on important issues related to their case. It was frustrating at a certain point not to be able to help our client engage in the substantive issues of the case. Instead, the client and their spouse were constantly bickering over pretty trivial matters related to the point. In this sense, I would recommend going through with your attorney what issues they think will be the most important at the beginning of every case in focusing on those. This way, you will not get lost in the weeds in inconsequential matters related to frustrations with your Co-parent. Likewise, keep in mind these areas of your case which stand the greatest likelihood to distract you from your ultimate goals.
Issues regarding primary conservatorship
When I talk about primary conservatorship, I most certainly am not trying to tell you that conservatorships issues are not necessary. The rights and duties that you have about your children are fundamental and can impact your family life a great deal. However, it would help if you remembered that it is why it takes time to focus on issues that you can win on in a trial. There is nothing wrong with going to bat for your children or sticking with your beliefs. However, if doing so lengthens out your case unnecessarily, he may be costing your tile self-time, money, and your sanity all at the same time.
The number one issue that often leads people to consider a long divorce case is primary conservatorships. Being a primary conservator is a critical designation. You have the ability then to make decisions regarding the well-being of your children, how your children are consistent during the school year, and generally get to spend more time with the kids. Not only that, you have the right to receive child support from the noncustodial parent. It is no wonder that primary conservatorships are frequently a topic that can lead couples to go to trial rather than settle their case out of court.
If you genuinely believe in your heart of hearts that the children are best suited to spend time with you more frequently and to live with you consistently, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with standing by and trying to win primary conservatorships in your divorce case. However, bear in mind that there are circumstances involved in your case that can lead to you being stretched out to an intolerable degree when it is not necessary or even beneficial.
For one, you need to be in a position where you can win primary conservatorships. If you are a parent who has good intentions but has never participated in the day-to-day care for your children, then it is unlikely that you will be able to when primary conservatorships. For one, a family court judge would be unlikely to want to rock the boat and appoint you as primary conservative. Additionally, when we think about primary conservatorship, we also need to think about what is in the best interest of her children. If you believe that your children are better off with you as your primary conservator, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with you trying to fight for this designation.
On the other hand, if you believe that you want to become primary conservator for no other reason than despite your Co-parent, then you should not try and push for this designation. Instead, there are ways for you to be able to be your children’s life a great deal and even have a split of time with your Co-parent. This takes negotiation and patience. Fighting in vain for primary conservatorships will do nothing to help you win on this front and undermine efforts when conservative shipwrights are in time with your children.
For this reason, I think you must have an experienced family law attorney by your side. Working with an experienced family law attorney means that you will be able to determine what the likelihood is that you will have a good chance at becoming the primary conservator of your children. Suppose you are a father, for example, who has primarily worked a great deal but does not participate in the day-to-day care of your children. In that case, you are likely not going to be an excellent candidate to become the primary conservator of your kids in a divorce. That does not make you a bad parent or an absentee parent. It identifies correctly that you have not played this role, at least to this point in your children’s life. Expecting a family court judge 2 put you into a position where you are the primary conservator will ask the judge to disregard your family’s history.
Bear in mind, also, that fathers frequently have the most difficulty in understanding this reality. I have worked with many fathers who legitimately believe that the law favors mothers explicitly regarding conservatorships issues. I have to take the time to talk to these men and tell them that conservatorships do hinge on being a man or a woman. Instead, conservatorships hinges on your relationship with your kids have been in terms of your day-to-day level of care period; if your Co-parent has been the children’s primary caregiver, you as a father facing uphill better. There is no bias towards mothers and against fathers in conservatorship settings. Instead, there is a bias favoring the parent who fulfilled this role for their children daily.
Child custody and possession issues
Next, divorce cases can be lengthened out due to issues related to the daily possession of your children. Sometimes parents cannot agree on the simple schedule that their children will follow to see both parents. If you find that you and your Co-parent cannot get on the same page when it comes to conservatorships issues, then that is something that you should discuss with your attorney. Legitimately, it is entirely normal for both you and your Co-parent to have disagreements over the possession schedule that you have with your children. This is mainly true because you both lack the experience of anticipating what sort of plan will work for your family and which will not.
Mediation is a great way to resolve issues in conflicts regarding disagreements over possession schedule. The default setting for a family court judge in Texas is to have a standard position order in place for you and your family. As stated, position order is where your child’s noncustodial parent has them on the first, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month during the school year. Otherwise, holidays are split in the middle, and your child’s noncustodial parent will have extended visitation times during the summer. All things being equal, this is what a family court judge would order for you and your family if you all could not agree in mediation is something different.
I say that mediation is necessary because, in that setting, you and your spouse will be able to work with an experienced family law mediator who can help come up with offers and counteroffers to various possession schedules. These mediators can become quite creative and help the two of you bridge the gap between your idea, and there is. There are often logistical issues that need to be sorted out when it comes to getting your children from one home to the other period. The mediator may help anticipate this issue and instead devote more of your time to substantive target topics rather than more fleeting issues.
When you commit to working with your Co-parent only issues regarding a possession schedule, you are taking away the chance to have unresolved issues that lead to costly divorce trials. These trials become expensive both in terms of time and money. At the same time, you are taking a significant risk with your case by going to trial. Nobody truly knows how a judge will decide various issues regarding your matter. You and your spouse should be able to work together to resolve the problems related to your family’s case. After all, nobody understands the subject relevant to your life and your divorce better than you and your spouse. Even after a multi-day trial, the family court judge in your case will not know your family better than you do. As such, you should go into mediation as prepared as you can with all the information you need to resolve your case and ensure that your family avoids a difficult divorce trial period.
Questions about the material in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.