Divorce is often complicated and messy. You may find yourself wondering how long it will take for everything to go through so you can get on with your life. Unfortunately, the answer is, more often than not, “it depends.” Several different factors have a hand in how long the whole process takes. If something changes for some reason during the divorce, that can affect the length of time that it will take. Here are some of the factors that will decide how long it will take for your divorce to become final.
Is the Divorce Fault-Based or No-Fault?
A no-fault divorce — as the name suggests — is a divorce where neither party takes the blame for the dissolution of the marriage. Alternatively, a fault-based divorce allows one party to claim grounds for a divorce such as abuse or adultery. No-fault divorce can be filed in every state, but fault-based divorce is only allowed in certain states.
A fault-based divorce can slow down the whole divorce process. You will have to provide evidence to prove your claim at a trial or hearing. Some spouses may implement this strategy to slow down the process of a divorce. While it usually won’t prevent the divorce from going through, it will slow things down considerably.
Does Your State Have a “Cooling-Off” Period?
In some states, a cooling-off period is mandatory before you can file for a divorce. This period varies from state to state and is meant to allow each party some time to reconsider the divorce or make appropriate adjustments.
While some states don’t require a cooling-off period before filing for divorce, others may vary their timeframes based on factors like children or how long you’ve been separated. For questions about your specific state’s rules, contact a divorce attorney, like a divorce attorney in Tampa, FL.
Is Your Divorce Uncontested?
An uncontested divorce means that your spouse isn’t disputing the divorce. Essentially, it means that you both agree to get divorced, which is usually the quickest way to get through the courts. If your divorce is uncontested and no-fault, that makes the process even quicker since there’s little work on the judge’s part to work things out.
A contested divorce, however, may take much longer. This means there’s at least one major issue that you and your spouse cannot agree on. This usually involves some sort of trial for a final verdict.
All in all, your divorce could take anywhere from several months to several years. If you have any questions about grounds for divorce or your state’s waiting times, be sure to contact an experienced divorce lawyer to guide you through the process.
Thanks to The McKinney Law Group for their insight into how long it can take to get a divorce.