It could take only a few months if you and your soon to be former spouse agree on everything, possibly after voluntarily participating in mediation, and/or there are no minor children and/or not a lot of assets to split up. It could also take many years if the marital estate is complex and/or there are issues relating to parenting responsibilities and child custody.
The level of cooperation and civility between the parties and the nature of the attorneys on the case will all affect the length of time it will take to complete the case. Our firm recognizes that it is in most people’s best interest to get a divorce done as quickly as possible and at as a low a cost as possible. We strive to move quickly and efficiently but factors we cannot control often get in the way.
After a divorce petition is filed, a summons must be served on your spouse. This is not always as simple as it sounds and can take time to complete. Once your spouse is served, they are given a reasonable time to respond in writing to the allegations of the complaint. If your spouse does not respond to the complaint, the judge may issue a default ruling awarding you a divorce. Issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities and maintenance will be decided by the court at a later date, regardless of whether the case is contested or uncontested. Litigation over these issues, including the discovery process, is the most common cause of delays in completing a divorce case.