Things could not have been more different for Kelly. Exactly one year ago, she was on her own with no money, no place to stay and a broken heart. Her husband Pete took up with a new girlfriend 25 years his junior. He threw her belongings out on the lawn and locked her out of their home. Kelly suspected he was having yet another affair but did not think a break-up was in their future. During their fourteen years together, she looked the other way on Pete's infidelities because she did not have to work and Pete always took care of her. Unlike a prior relationship Kelly endured while she was 16, Pete never laid a hand on Kelly. More importantly to Kelly, he always came home to her and they otherwise had a good relationship. Pete proposed and married Kelly eight years ago. She agreed to move into Pete's house so they could save up, sell his current home and get a new home together. However, that day never came. While she thought, the cheating would stop after they were married, it did not. She knew Pete liked younger women. After all, she started dating Pete when she was 18 and he was 36. But there it was, 14 years after her first date with Pete, her stuff was on the lawn for the entire neighborhood to see.
Kelly moved back in with her parents in Spring Branch. Her Dad was good friends with the station manager at a local TV station and he got her a job as a make up artist for the morning anchors. Kelly was always good with applying makeup and in her new job she excelled. Her position during the year went from part-time, to full-time and she even received a raise. With her raise she was able to move out of her parents home and closer to the TV station in her own condo. Kelly meet Dave three months after her breakup with Pete. She had fun with Dave, felt safe, and he gave her room to be herself. The two fell madly in love and discussed marriage. Unlike Pete, Kelly's family loved Dave. During new years eve at Kelly's parents home, Kelly and Dave were outside watching the fireworks. Dave dropped on one knee and proposed to Kelly. Kelly was ecstatic to get married to Dave and could not wait to start their new lives together as husband and wife. However, she was still married to Pete. She and Dave wanted to get married on their joint birthdays on February 12th . January 3rd, they met with a divorce attorney so they could start the process of getting Pete and Kelly divorced. Kelly really wanted a clean break and she would do anything to close the book on that relationship and start her life with Dave. The most important thing to her is she could marry Dave on February 12th. Dave and Kelly told the attorney their plans, to their surprise they found out their would be a snag.
Waiting Period to Divorce
Parties who have filed for divorce must wait at least 60 days before a court will grant a divorce.1
Thus, a person must let 60 days elapse after the divorce is filed, and on the 61st day can request the court to grant their divorce. In the fictional scenario above, Dave and Kelly want to get married on February 12th. Even if the divorce attorney files a petition for divorce on January 3rd, by February 12th, the divorce would only be on file for 40 days and the requisite sixty day waiting period would not have elapsed for the court to grant the divorce. This sixty day waiting period is not required if a party seeks to annul a marriage or declare a marriage void.2 A court may grant a divorce earlier than sixty days after filing if
a. The respondent in a divorce was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an offense of family violence against the petitioner or a member of petitioner's household; or
b. Petitioner has a protective order or a magistrate's emergency order, against the respondent because of a finding of family violence committed during the marriage.3
However, in the fictional depiction, Pete did not engage in domestic violence against Kelly. So Kelly's divorce from Pete would not fall into one of those exceptions.
Waiting Period to Remarry
Parties once divorced must wait thirty days before they can remarry another person unless they obtain a waiver from the court.4 Once Kelly divorces Pete, she must also wait for 30 days to elapse and on or after the 31st day after her divorce she may marry Dave. Her only way to avoid the 30 day wait after her divorce is to obtain a waiver from the court.
If you are in a similar situation as Kelly, Pete and Dave and wish to discuss obtaining a divorce in the most efficient manner, contact our offices to schedule a consultation with our attorney.
Author's Information: Attorney Tracey A. Beecher is a family law practitioner. She represents clients with divorce, child support, child custody, property division in relation to divorce proceedings, and child protective services cases. She appears in courts within Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.
Legal Disclaimer: Each person's situation and circumstances are unique. As such, this article is given to provide general information only. It is not legal advice nor is it intended as a substitute for legal counsel. Should the reader need legal advice or counsel, it is appropriate to seek the assistance of a licensed attorney.
Bibliography & Sources
1 Texas Family Code § 6.702(a)
2 Id. at (b)
3 Id. at (c)
4 Texas Family Code 6.801 and 6.802