How long does a divorce take?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2021 | Family Law

You haven’t been happy in your marriage for a long time now, and you doubt that your spouse is either. You’ve begun to see divorce as the only way out.

The idea of going through a divorce feels intimidating, but not because it means the end of your marriage. What you’re worried about is being trapped in a complicated legal process for a long time. If you do decide to file for divorce, how long is it going to take?

It depends on the nature of the divorce

Unfortunately, you can’t really find a distinct timeline that applies to all divorce cases. They can be very different and the amount of time varies considerably.

For instance, an uncontested divorce with few assets may only take a little over a month. If you and your spouse both want to end the marriage, your spouse signs the divorce papers immediately and you work together throughout the process, it can be very fast. It’s also faster if you do not have children, major assets or debts.

A contested divorce, on the other hand, could take a year or more. Say your spouse doesn’t want to sign the divorce papers. They can delay everything considerably just by refusing to do so. If they then fight you on custody of your kids and division of complex assets, it can take months for the court to sort it out. There are extreme examples of people spending years getting divorced, though that is not the norm.

Understanding your options

If you want this to end quickly, being on the same page with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is the key. You also need to make sure you fully understand your legal options and what you can do to speed up the process.