We are sorry that you have come to the situation that divorce is the only solution. We believe that you have tried all the options with your spouse, before deciding on this, the last and most difficult. But you should not despair, because it is much better to start a new chapter of your life than to live in a marriage where there is no more love or understanding between you and your partner. In any case, in front of you is the divorce process, which is usually neither easy nor cheap.
And you also wonder how long it will take. You certainly want to get this over with as soon as possible, and many other things may depend on it, such as a new marriage. The duration of the whole process varies greatly, so we cannot give you a single answer to the question of how long does a divorce take from start to finish. What we can do to help you is to tell you what affects the duration, so you can have a rough idea of how long the divorce process will last in your case.
As we have already said, a lot of different things affect the duration of the divorce process, and later in the article, we will analyze in more detail the factors that have the greatest impact. However, first we will tell you what is the average duration according to the researches conducted on this topic. If it is a settlement between the spouses, which means that they have mutually agreed on all important issues, it is expected that everything will be over in six to nine months.
According to the lawyers from Kabir Family Law how are experts for divorces and we consulted them about this topic, told us that it can be finished even in 4 months in some cases. This is the best option because it is the shortest and least stressful. If a petition is filed for the court to make a final verdict, then it usually takes about a year for the court to disclose its decision.
And those couples who can’t agree because there is too much bad blood between them and decide to start a trial, can be sure that everything will be over in a year and a half at the earliest. These are the average durations of the divorce compared to how the whole case was resolved, and these are the most important factors that affect the duration.
Factors to consider
State you live in
Local laws have a huge impact and they vary greatly from state to state. That is why it is important for you to check which laws apply where you live or to hire a specialized lawyer, who already knows all this. First of all, we need to see how long the so-called cooling-off period lasts, which is the shortest period that must pass before the divorce is authorized.
If during this period one of the spouses changes his or her mind, the whole process can be revoked. The shortest is the cooling-off period in Idaho, lasting only 20 days, while the longest is in California where it lasts 6 months. There are also states without a cooling-off period. In any case, the cooling-off period is something that many agree with, but there are also many opponents. Anyway, you can’t escape that so all you can do is wait for that period to pass.
There are other laws that will also have an impact, so state laws are the first thing you should check when calculating how much time will pass before you are officially divorced.
With or without a lawyer
It will certainly affect whether you have a lawyer. Although many people opt for a DIY divorce, we strongly advise you against it. The only situation when this is a good choice is if you have been married for a short period of time, have no jointly acquired property nor children. And there is also no bad blood between you and your soon to be ex spouse. In any other case, it is much better to have a lawyer, because his knowledge of the law and procedure will surely speed up the divorce.
Child custody and child support
One of the most important topics in any divorce is children. So if you have children, it will surely prolong the process. The court will take very serious consideration of everything that has to do with children, and above all custody and child support. The trial or settlement will not be completed until the court is sure that everything has been decided in the best interests of the children. If you and your spouse can agree on a parenting plan, which the judge finds reasonable, you have taken the biggest step. And if you manage to agree on finances when it comes to children, you have done yourself a great favor because you have shortened the duration of the divorce, perhaps by twice. On the other hand, if it is an issue that you cannot agree on, expect that everything will take much longer because the issue of custody and alimony is the most important for the court.
Don’t forget the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has affected all spheres of our lives, including divorce. If a full lockdown or other repressive measures are in place to stop the spread of the virus in the state where you live in, it is almost certain that the divorce will last longer than it would otherwise. However, the situation is returning to normal, so it is possible that the pandemic will not cause you a problem with this issue.
And lastly to tell you that you cannot officially divorce if you have been married for less than a year. If you have been married for less than 12 months, and you have definitely decided to divorce, you can have a divorce petition draft, which you can officially send after a year has passed since the wedding. The only other option is annulment, which can be requested in case of mental impairment and some other cases.