How Long Will Your Divorce Take?

When it comes to a divorce, most people want the process over with as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the timeline is not always within your power to control. The divorce timeline depends on several factors, and while you may be able to find a resolution within 60 days, a trial may take upwards of a year or more, depending. There are at least six factors that contribute to the divorce timeline.

1. Jurisdiction

The primary obstacle to a divorce is the jurisdiction. Every state has its own rules determining the path to ending a marriage. Some municipalities require a separation period before a divorce can be filed, and still, others may require counseling.

2. Divorce Type

Is your divorce fault-based or no-fault, is it contested or uncontested? The type of filing can determine the length of the process. For example, an uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on everything and have no disputes, which equate to quick resolution and dissolution of marriage. However, a contested divorce means that the parties cannot come to terms and may require a trial.

3. Service of Divorce Papers

The service of divorce papers is often a routine and simple part of the process. However, if your spouse does not want a divorce or if they disappeared, then the proceedings can be significantly delayed because the court requires a response. However, in extreme circumstances, when a spouse cannot be located, the court may allow you to post the announcement of the divorce in a local paper to move the proceedings along.

4. Investments and Assets

Depending on the complexity of investments and assets, you may need to have a valuation performed. For example, if a business is tied up in marital assets, then an outside party will determine the value of the company for the court. Unfortunately, these evaluations can take some time.

5. Child Custody

Emotions often run high when trying to determine child custody agreements. Both parents want what is best for their children, but they do not always have the same ideas for accomplishing this. Attorneys, counselors and psychologists may be called to help determine the most beneficial arrangements for families that struggle in this area.

6. Case Backlog

A divorce may take a long time because of case backlog. Even amicable divorces can be held up for months because of scheduling conflicts and preexisting casework.

While no one can guarantee an expedient divorce, filing early is essential. Contact a family lawyer, such as from May Law, LLP, to discuss how you can move the process along.