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Explore General Legal Issues

How Long Does It Take To Finalize A Divorce?

by Ralph Griffin

If you and your spouse have discussed divorce, the time it takes to reach a done deal depends on your exact circumstances. To learn more about what could hold up a divorce and what could help speed it along, read on.

When Things Go Smoothly

Many divorcing couples don't realize that their attitude and willingness to compromise plays a huge role in not just how fast things move but also in the cost and stress that comes along with the divorce. Overall, those couples that come to agreements outside of court, preferably before they even file for divorce, are bound to have an easier process. Other things that can speed things along include:

  1. No minor-aged children.
  2. Little to no property like real estate.
  3. Little to no marital debts.
  4. No business ownerships.
  5. No splitting of retirement accounts.
  6. No pets.

When Things Go Slowly

On the other hand, it only takes one major stumbling block to slow things down. Any of the below issues could contribute to this slow-down:

  1. Child custody is in contention, with one party asking for sole physical custody and the other disagreeing.
  2. Visitation issues that cannot be resolved.
  3. One party is claiming the child is not their biological child.
  4. The couple has a lot of property and some of their marital assets have been intermingled. That means that what might have once been personal property has been combined with the other party's property in a manner that has to be untangled. For instance, one party added their own money to one spouse's savings account. Or one party used their own money from before the marriage as a down payment on the family home.
  5. The couple is in disagreement over who is responsible for some joint debts.
  6. One party refuses to cooperate with requests to provide QDRO information.

Getting Things on Track

To stop your divorce from getting slowed down by any of the issues listed above and others, follow these tips:

  • Consider using a divorce mediation service. Divorce mediators are trained in conflict resolution and can often get both parties to give in a bit and come to an agreement.
  • Hire a child and parenting consultant. These experts in child psychology and parenting can perform a child study to help determine who should be the sole custodian and also assist with visitation plans.

For help on how to get a stuck divorce started again, speak to your divorce lawyer and find out more.