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How Long Does A Divorce Usually Take?

If you’re thinking about getting divorced, you probably want to do it as soon as possible. After all, no one wants the (sometimes expensive) process to drag on, especially if you’re attempting to leave a loveless or poisonous marriage, even if it’s ending amicably. But, on average, how long does it take to seek a divorce? The answer is contingent on a number of factors, including where you live, whether both parties agree to all of the stipulations, and how quickly the judge can complete the paperwork. In some cases, and in some states, your divorce can be completed in as little as two or three months. However, if you have a lot of issues to work out and your divorce is contentious, it could take a long time.

Several Factors That Influence How Long Your Divorce Will Take

  • What state you live in

Some states have a so-called “cooling off” period, while others don’t.  In California, for example, there is a six-month cooling-off period, which is the longest in the country. It takes 90 days in Pennsylvania. Idaho’s cooling-off period is 20 days, but it could be up to 90 days if minors are involved. Keep in mind that getting divorced during the cooling off time is the quickest option. If you are unable to reach an agreement, it may take longer.

  • What type of divorce you choose

There are a variety of divorce procedures to choose from. Litigation, mediation, and collaborative divorce are the three main divorce choices. Alternative dispute resolution approaches include mediation and collaborative divorce. It’s termed that because they’re ‘alternatives’ to the default, which is litigation.

The goal of mediation and collaborative divorce is to obtain a comprehensive settlement agreement on all matters without ever having to set foot in a courtroom. Because there is no trial in an uncontested divorce, it takes substantially less time. Your case will progress rapidly through the legal procedure if you and your spouse can agree on all important aspects and strike a settlement agreement.

  • How difficult is your divorce?

There are fewer challenges to resolve for those who haven’t been married long and have limited assets.  

A divorce can progress more quickly if there are fewer sticking points. It also raises     the probability of being able to employ mediation to resolve contested matters rather than going through the costly and time-consuming trial procedure. 

If you’ve been married for a long time and/or have a lot of assets, such as one or more homes, ownership interests in one or more businesses, and significant financial holdings in savings, 401ks, or stocks, figuring out who gets what will be a lot more difficult. 

In rare circumstances, one spouse may try to hide assets from the other, which can result in court action that can drag out a divorce for months or years.

  • Child custody, child support and alimony issues.

These are the most contentious of all divorce topics, and they frequently lead to the most arguments between divorced couples.

You will have overcome a big stumbling point if you can agree on a reasonable parenting plan.

Child support and alimony are generally pre-determined in many states, yet they can still be a source of contention between couples.

However, if you can sort out these details ahead of time, you can cut your divorce time in half.

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The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!

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