Texas residents who are considering entering a marriage are fortunate in a number of ways. For one thing, the odds are just a little better here in favor of their marriage enduring for a lifetime than in other states. The national average for divorce is about 50 percent; in Texas, the average is 48 percent.

There are other ways in which family law in Texas seeks to engender and support strong marriages. One is through a mandatory waiting period for marriage licenses. As opposed to the “shotgun weddings” of other states, here a couple must wait for 72 hours after applying before they can receive their marriage license.

A waiting period may seem like an inconvenience for engaged couples excited to move ahead with their lives together. However, some find that it actually provides a valuable opportunity for couples to spend time discussing important marital issues in greater depth. For example, they may choose to participate in Twogether in Texas, an 8-hour counseling program designed for couples at this stage.

They may also find that this is a good time to talk about a prenuptial agreement. What can otherwise be an admittedly uncomfortable topic for many could turn out to be something approached more easily during the 72-hour waiting period. After all, this is a time designated to focus on serious discussion about the marital contract before taking a major step in the process.

Exceptions to the waiting period are available in some situations, including military marriages. But readers may find that setting aside time to talk candidly through family law issues can turn out to be a waiting period well spent.