So, you have decided your marriage has come to an end. When I speak to people who are contemplating filing for divorce, there is one question that is always asked: How long does it take to get divorced?
Well, it depends.
The fact is, every marriage is different and every divorce is different. No two divorce cases are the same. However, I am able to give my clients some guidelines as to how long it will take to get divorced, based upon the facts of the marriage and the personalities of the parties involved.
Once a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed with the court by one spouse, the other spouse must file a response within 20 days of being served with the documents. After a response is filed, both parties must file their financial affidavits. Soon after, a mediation conference will be scheduled.
If parties can settle their case at a mediation, or shortly soon thereafter, then all that will be left to do is complete all the necessary court paperwork (such as the Marital Settlement Agreement) and schedule a Final Judgment hearing before the Judge. This means that if the parties cooperate with each other, a divorce can be filed and finalized in as little as three months, without ever going to trial.
However, other cases are more complex and leave room for the parties to argue over anything and everything. If the parties are not able to communicate, the divorce process can last several months, if not years. When this happens, every step of the way is a battle. Countless motions are filed (motion for contempt, motion for a vocational expert, motion for a G.A.L., motion to compel, motion for temporary relief, etc), hearings are held, attorney fees will increase substantially, and nothing will be resolved. In the end, no one is happy.
As you can see, depending on the circumstances, a divorce can be completed in as little time as a few weeks or it can take months or years. If you would like more information about the divorce please feel free to call.