Is there a statute of limitations on a divorce?

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Is there a statute of limitations on a divorce?

My wife filed 21 months ago but I have yet to hear on the status of my divorce.

Asked on September 23, 2015 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that your wife's action is no longer pending....If there are no children and there aren't any major property issues, then you can file a divorce on your own in Texas.  You would file in the county where you live, but you can tap into the Dallas County District Clerk's web cite under the forms section to get some good ideas for filing and finalizing your divorce on your own.  The process starts with a basic petition.  After you file, she either has to sign a waiver or be served.  After she has been served and after sixty days has passed since the date of the filing of your divorce, you can proceed to finalizing your divorce with a decree.  This is the basic process in Texas.
If your wife already started a divorce action in California, you will be stuck with finalizing your action there.  It's a similar process and many of the clerks in California offer forms to support their procedures. 
You mention that there was "a default in June of last year."  If this means that a default judgment for divorce was already obtained against you, then your divorce is already finalized and you would need to file a motion for new trial to contest it if it was a bad deal for you.  These motions tend to be time sensitive-- so you'll need to file it quickly if that was the case.
On a slightly different note, you've been getting quotes for $4000.00.  This a fairly typical quote for a complicated or contested divorce retainer.  Some attorneys will still try to charge that amount even for an agreed or uncontested divorce.  If you shop around, you should be able to find someone to give you a better rate.  Another option is to retain an attorney to help you prepare forms to file, even if you can't afford full representation.  A third option is to reach out to your local legal aid organizations.  You qualify for free or reduced fee assistance.
You mention a couple of other issues
First, you don't know the status of your divorce.  You need to contact the clerk of the court where your case is pending and ask about the status.  More and more clerks also offer online accesss-- so that's another good way to check the progress of your case.
Second, you just want it to be over.... assuming that it is still pending, you need to contact the court coordinator for the court where your divorce is pending and request a final hearing.  Some have specific procedures on how to get a hearing date... so inquire as to what those are and follow those steps.


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