How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. Like many other questions surrounding divorce, the answer is “it depends.” How long it will take you to complete your divorce depends largely on the type of divorce you choose and the issues at hand to be determined.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
An uncontested divorce can be completed in a little over a month. Not all couples qualify for an uncontested divorce, which requires both partners to agree to all the terms of their divorce settlement. Other requirements the couple must meet include:
- No minor children and neither partner may be pregnant; and
- Neither spouse may seek alimony.
A contested divorce, on the other hand, usually takes six months or more to resolve. Sometimes, a contested divorce can take up to two years to complete.
Factors that can Extend or Shorten your Divorce Timeline
Beyond completing an uncontested divorce, there are other factors that can impact how long it takes for you and your spouse to finalize your settlement. Some of these are within your control, others are not. One example of a factor you cannot control is how many other divorces are currently being handled by your county court. A backlog of divorce cases in your county can make your divorce take a year or longer to complete. One way to get around this obstacle is to choose mediation or collaboration to reach agreements about your divorce settlement.
Other factors that can impact your divorce’s timeline include:
- The amount of conflict surrounding contested issues like debt division and a parenting plan. When there is a high amount of conflict, the back and forth between the partners on the issue can become time-consuming;
- The complexity of your marital estate. If there are a lot of assets and debts to value and divide, this can be a lengthy process;
- If both partners are living outside Florida, either temporarily or permanently. In Florida, at least one partner must have resided in Florida for six months prior to filing for divorce to satisfy the state’s residency requirement. If neither meets this requirement, at least one must establish residency in Florida in order to move forward with the divorce in this state. When both partners are out of the state temporarily, the court has discretion to determine if they are eligible to divorce in Florida; and
- Finding your spouse and serving him or her with divorce paperwork. The court cannot divide your assets or create an alimony order until your spouse has been served with divorce paperwork, and if you cannot find him or her, this can take some time.
Work with an Experienced Winter Park Divorce Lawyer
Contact our team of experienced Winter Park divorce lawyers at Sperling Ducker PLC today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We can answer any questions you have and work with you to determine the most effective way to move forward with your divorce. Be proactive and give us a call today to get started.