The one question I am asked by just about every prospective client is “how long will the divorce process take?” My answer is, “that depends.” The absolute shortest time it takes from start to finish is sixty days. On the other end of the spectrum, I have had cases that have gone on for years. So, what determines how long it takes to get divorced?
If you and your spouse are in agreement on every aspect of how your property will be divided and you have no minor children, then the process can take as little as sixty days. In fact, many of the divorces I handle are completed in around sixty days.
If minor children are involved, the process can be completed in as little as ninety days. In both cases, you and your spouse must be in agreement on every aspect of how the property will be divided and how your children will be raised.
As a general rule, most divorcing couples have cars, furniture and credit card bills that must be divided. Agreeing on how to divide those things before hiring an attorney can speed up the process. I have had clients come to my office, hire me and leave with a completed agreement to take to their spouse for signing all within about an hour. The agreement, called a marital dissolution agreement, can be filed with the court at the same time the divorce case is filed. Then, all that’s left is to wait for the required time to pass before presenting the case to the judge for finalization.
If children are involved, a parenting plan must be prepared and presented to the judge when the required time has passed. The parenting plan will determine when and how much time each parent spends with the children, how much child support is paid, and how major decisions regarding the children will be handled. Just as with the marital dissolution agreement, the parenting plan can often be prepared at the same time as the initial consultation and hiring.
We have a packet we can send you that will help guide you and your spouse through the process of reaching an agreement. If you and your spouse are able to agree and the paperwork we send you is completed, we can usually prepare the legal documents in about an hour. When you are ready to start the divorce process, contact us.