The Varying Lengths of Time for Divorce
Divorce may take varying lengths of time depending on various factors such as the state you live in. These factors may be discussed with an attorney in the area, but some include the type of divorce chosen, whether any aspect of the case will be contested and whether children are involved. If children are involved, the process may be prolonged as the couple debates issues such as child support, child custody and visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.
If there are no children involved, the process may go much smoother and much quicker. If there are no assets to be divided or if the couple can agree on the division of their properties and assets, the process also becomes much smoother and quicker. Remember, though, that in the State of California in particular, a divorce is not final until at least six months after the Respondent, that is the party that does not file, is served the papers. The party who files the papers is called the Petitioner.
There have been cases in which the process can take years because of certain factors such as a family business. To help smooth the process as much as possible, it is often advisable to seek legal counsel immediately. The Respondent has 30 days to respond after being served, so time is often of the essence. If the parties are unable to agree on all issues relevant to their case, it will go to trial. If they are able to reach a settlement, the process is much easier.
Remember, just because a mandatory six month waiting period is required in California, for example, from the time the Respondent is served with papers doesn’t mean the process cannot get kicked off sooner. The judgment and any terms of the divorce in California may be filed before the six months are up even if the judgment terminating the marriage cannot be entered until the six month anniversary. Just because there is a mandatory six month waiting period, though, does not mean the process will be resolved in this time.
As mentioned, there are several items that may slow the process, but the more amicably the matters may be settled, the smoother the experience will go. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some couples wait years before the terms of their settlement are finally reached. Beyond the obvious frustration and headaches that this may cause, such a long process may be very expensive, leading couples to seek quicker and faster methods.