Select your state


waiting periods

In many states there is a waiting period for finalizing a divorce following the filing of the lawsuit for divorce. This waiting period is intended to allow the spouses to “cool-off” and reconcile if possible. And some states require the spouses to have separated and lived apart for some period of time before proceeding with the divorce. In some states that require such a separation period, if the spouses reconcile and begin living together again (cohabitating) after separating, the separation period must be restarted before the divorce process can proceed.

The waiting period or separation period is often 30-90 days but may be as long as 5-18 months in states such as Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Vermont. These waiting periods are generally in addition to any minimum time period a spouse must have resided in the county in which the divorce is filed before filing for divorce—known as the residency requirement.

In Texas, the state law mandates a minimum waiting period of 60 days after the divorce petition is filed before a divorce can be finalized. This 'cooling-off' period is designed to give couples a chance to reconcile if possible. However, Texas does not require a mandatory separation period before filing for divorce. The only exception to the 60-day waiting period is in cases of domestic violence where a judge may waive this requirement. Additionally, at least one spouse must have been a resident of Texas for a minimum of six months and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for at least 90 days before filing the petition. It's important to note that the 60-day waiting period starts on the day the petition is filed, not when the respondent is served or when the case goes to court.

Legal articles related to this topic