It isn’t uncommon for clients to ask us: “What is the quickest way to get a divorce?” Some people come to us fed up with an unhappy marriage hoping to secure a divorce quickly, while others find themselves in the roommate zone with their spouse and simply want to move on with their lives. Regardless of your reason for seeking a divorce, there are steps you can take to speed up a divorce, especially if your spouse doesn’t throw any roadblocks your way.
1). Get your estate organized.
Whether you’re planning to file for divorce or not, it’s always a good idea to have a solid grasp on your finances and the status of your estate’s assets, debts, insurance policies, retirement accounts and so on. Compiling an inventory of those items along with any supporting documents is an essential first step if you want to get a speedy divorce.
When you first meet with a divorce attorney to discuss divorce, that meeting will run much more efficiently if you bring along an estate inventory and related documents. Your attorney needs this information in order to devise a divorce strategy and figure out the best way to divide your estate in the fair and equitable manner the state of Texas requires.
2). Share financial information and documents with your spouse.
It’s also helpful to share any information and documents about your community estate (including what financial accounts you share) with your spouse, whether you decide to divorce or not. In many marriages, financial responsibilities fall on one spouse, which could be catastrophic if he or she suddenly becomes incapacitated or dies.
Plus, under Texas’ new discovery rules that took effect January 1, 2021, the state requires both parties in a divorce to submit copies of financial documents during the initial disclosures phase of the divorce. If you’re wondering how to expedite a divorce, promptly sharing any financial information and documents with your spouse can help.
3). Have you and your spouse agreed to get a divorce? Consider meeting with a financial advisor.
If you and your spouse are on amicable terms, agree divorce is inevitable and are able to have a civil conversation, consider reviewing your finances with a financial advisor you both trust. During the meeting, the advisor can review assets and debts and discuss different strategies for tidying up your community estate.
Reconciling debt, consolidating bank accounts and getting rid of some of the financial complexities involved in a case can really help speed up the information giving and obtaining process. So if you really want to know how to speed up a divorce, be serious about getting your finances in order.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t review the advisor’s recommendations with a divorce attorney. While the financial advisor may have an excellent grasp on the “numbers,” he or she won’t have complete insight on other details pertaining to your divorce. Issues like child custody, child support, spousal support and family violence may impact how the court agrees to divide the estate, so it’s typically best to seek an attorney’s advice.
4). Move forward with pre-trial motions and hearings at the outset of the case.
Want to know how to get divorced fast? Don’t drag your feet. Our firm is a big fan of setting a pre-trial hearing early on at the outset of a case to make sure deadlines are put in place. Unfortunately, many people drag their feet in divorce cases—intentionally due to financial reasons, unintentionally because they don’t want a divorce or because they tend to procrastinate.
If your goal is to follow a quick divorce process, you and your attorney must take steps to move the ball forward. The best way to get the ball rolling is to put deadlines in place.
Don’t be afraid to press the gas and apply pressure, because when either side feels too comfortable during divorce the case often ends up dragging out. Getting your ducks in a row financially, establishing a clear roadmap for next steps and standing firm are all important steps if you’re looking for the fastest way to get a divorce.
5). Secure the divorce mediator’s time in advance.
In the state of Texas, couples going through a contested divorce are typically required to attend mediation before taking their case to court. Your attorney may have a preference for which mediator hears your case, and the most sought-after mediators’ schedules often book out months in advance. Getting your case on the mediator’s schedule early on is key when a quick divorce process is a priority for you.
It’s critical to secure those time slots, otherwise you could end up with a bad mediator and not resolve your case. That’s the point where you can really lose control of the timing of your divorce. When mediation fails, you have to wait to get on the court’s docket and schedule, which can take several months and even years. Don’t underestimate the importance of a skilled mediator if you’re looking for the best ways how to speed up a divorce.
6). Consider alternative dispute resolutions.
The only way to get divorced in the state of Texas is by agreement, by mediation or by court order. Various alternative dispute resolutions are available to couples seeking a speedy divorce in Texas, including arbitration, mediation with a private judge or using a mediation attorney to facilitate the divorce process.
Couples able to secure an uncontested divorce—which typically only works for people without children and few or no community property or assets—can usually get a divorce fairly quickly. If you and your spouse have agreed to terms, a mediation attorney can help you prepare an Irrevocable Settlement Agreement outside of court.
While uncontested or agreed divorces are rare, they can be the fastest way to get a divorce for some couples in Texas. Keep in mind, per the Texas Family Code Chapter 6.702 on the divorce waiting period, the state of Texas prohibits couples from divorcing until the 61st day after filing, so you won’t be able to obtain a divorce earlier than day 61.
Want to learn more about how to get divorceD fast in Texas?
While getting a speedy divorce isn’t possible for every couple, our experienced divorce lawyers can explain how to get a fast divorce and whether that might be an option for you. A divorce attorney Fort Worth at the Sisemore Law Firm would be happy to speak with you about your divorce and potential strategies for a speedy resolution.
Photo Source: Canva.com