How Long Does a Divorce Take?
There is no definitive answer to“How long does a divorce take.”A number of factors enter into the amount of time it takes to process a divorce. These factors include:
- Will the divorce be contested or non-contested? If both parties agree on all issues including alimony and marital asset and debt division (Florida is an equitable distribution state, not equal distribution so decisions must be made to determine who gets or pays what and how much.) the time required for a final action is considerably shorter than if there is disagreement. A full financial disclosure from both parties is necessary in any case.
- If there are minor children or real estate, there must be a full divorce procedure.This will make the case take longer, but Florida law requires a fully adjudicated case.
- When the couple has a pre or post-nuptial agreement which will usually specify much of the asset and debt distribution as well as alimony, except temporary, the time for a divorce can be shorter. Child support, parental times haring, and attorney costs cannot be addressed in a pre or post-nuptial agreement.
- Most jurisdictions in Florida require a mediation before setting a court date. This is an excellent opportunity to shorten the time it takes to get a divorce. Both parties and their attorneys meet with a mediator who is trained and state certified. If the parties can reach an agreement in all areas of conflict including alimony, marital asset and debt distribution, child timesharing, parental plan, and child support and together, create a marital settlement which each must sign, the agreement can go straight to a judge. He or she will review the marital agreement along with each party’s full financial disclosure. If the judge approves of the marital agreement,a divorce can then be granted. As Family Courts are often backed up with divorce cases needing to be heard, a divorce can take months to be finalized should a marital agreement not be reached during mediation.
- Co-operation and compromise between the two parties will make a big difference as to the length of time necessary for a divorce. When there is constant arguing, disagreements,greed, deception, and need for motions, depositions,discovery, interrogatories, and locating speciality witnesses it takes a lot longer to reach the courtroom and a final judgment.
- Self-representation verses attorney representation makes a difference. Unless the divorce is uncontested, there are so many legal nuances to consider trying to handle a divorce litigation by oneself is most difficult. An attorney versed in Family Law and experienced in handling mediation and divorce will make a positive difference in the amount of time it takes to finalize a divorce.
A divorce can take from several weeks to many months or even years. As can be seen, it depends on many factors. If you are considering divorce it is wise to research your state’s requirements and then carefully consider an attorney qualified to get the job done as efficiently as possible. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St.Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange County in Florida or Washington DC or New York, Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo offers a free, in-office consultation where he will meet with you to answer questions and share how he can help.His office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and for new clients, Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. To make an appointment call his Palm Beach Garden office at (561) 530-4568.
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