One of the first things most people want to know is how long a divorce will take. Estimating how long it will take to get divorced isn’t easy. There are many elements involved in getting a divorce.

State Laws  

Some states have a residency law. That means you must live in the state for a certain time frame before you can file for a divorce. In addition to a residency law, some states have a cooling off or waiting period. You may have to be separated from your spouse for a time frame, generally speaking, a year, before you can file for a divorce. Your divorce lawyer can help you understand the requirements where you live.

The Complexity of Your Divorce

If you and your spouse agree on the issues and can negotiate a settlement, your divorce will go more quickly. If you have a lot of assets that need to be divided or are negotiating a difficult child custody agreement, the divorce could take much longer. If you and your spouse don’t agree, you may need to let the judge decide the merits of your case, which can take even longer. If one spouse is hiding assets, that can also slow down the process. Another thing that can slow down the process is if one spouse is hiding and unable to be served.

The Court’s Caseload

The court calendar can often be another factor in your divorce. In counties where the family court is busy, it can take a little longer to get your case before the judge. Most places have procedures to keep the process moving smoothly, but it does take time to move through the process. If your paperwork isn’t in order, it can set you back a few weeks.

How Can You Speed Up Your Divorce?

Unfortunately, many of the factors in the timeline of your divorce are out of your control. All you can do is control what you can. Try to negotiate a settlement with your spouse to avoid having to wait for the judge to do it. Make sure you meet your state’s residency requirements. Have your paperwork done correctly to keep it moving through the process.

You should plan a year or more to get through the legal requirements of your divorce, but there are ways to get it done quicker. Ask your family law attorney, such as a contested divorce lawyer from The Law Offices of Marty D. Martin, about ways to get your divorce handled properly and fast.