Finalizing a divorce in today’s COVID-19 Pandemic is unpredictable as to when a judge will sign your Final Decree of Divorce. Whether you have an uncontested divorce with all parties signing off on the Agreed Final Decree of Divorce or a contested divorce that involved a trial, the time which it normally takes to get the judge to sign off on your decree could be a lot longer than what you expect.
Divorce decrees are submitted to the Court via electronic filing with an affidavit of prove up since most courts are closed to in person prove ups of the case. Accordingly, once the mandatory 60 day waiting period has elapsed, our office will submit the agreed decree signed by all parties and a prove up affidavit so the court is able to sign off on the divorce.
Unfortunately, some parties have waited for over 30 days to get their divorce granted by the court even after the 60 day waiting period has elapsed and the decree is agreed to and signed by all parties. This is frustrated to most parties that have deadlines postdivorce to acquire property or perform other financial transactions or tax filing.
Our advice to most of our divorce clients is to not plan any postdivorce transactions believing that the court are operating at normal process when it comes to signing off on divorce documents.
A petition in a suit for dissolution of a marriage is sufficient without the necessity of specifying the underlying evidentiary facts if the petition alleges the grounds relied on substantially in the language of the statute.
Allegations of grounds for relief, matters of defense, or facts relied on for a temporary order that are stated in short and plain terms are not subject to special exceptions because of form or sufficiency.
The court shall strike an allegation of evidentiary fact from the pleadings on the motion of a party or on the court’s own motion.
If you have an uncontested divorce action and your spouse is going to cooperate and sign off on your divorce documents, it is best to file a no fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences to get the process completed based on the 60 day waiting period in Texas.
The other party should be prepared to sign a waiver of service to avoid having to issue a citation and have the other party served with process. Serving the other party with process will usually annoy the other party and have them file a response with the court which will generally make the process take longer to finalize and create more expense for the parties.
A party to a suit for the dissolution of a marriage may waive the issuance or service of process after the suit is filed by filing with the clerk of the court in which the suit is filed the waiver of the party acknowledging receipt of a copy of the filed petition.
The waiver must contain the mailing address of the party who executed the waiver.
Notwithstanding Section 132.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the waiver must be sworn before a notary public who is not an attorney in the suit. This subsection does not apply if the party executing the waiver is incarcerated.
The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply to a waiver executed under this section. The party executing the waiver may not sign the waiver using a digitized signature. For purposes of this section, “digitized signature” has the meaning assigned by Section 101.0096 of the Texas Family Code.
Regardless of the method you choose to file for your divorce, be prepared to wait longer than the minimum waiting period for a divorce to be finalized. If your divorce will be uncontested, discuss the process and documentation with an experienced divorce attorney for the best course of action for you to take.