Divorce is a potentially painful and lengthy process. While there are many cases that resolve within a couple of months, there are many more that extend toward nine months or longer, depending on the complexities of the filing. Essentially, the more assets you share with your spouse, the more complicated the divorce may be. However, beyond assets, there are several other factors that contribute to the timeline of a divorce.
Every state has their own rules on the dissolution of a marriage. Some jurisdictions mandate a separation period before a couple may file for a divorce, and others require counseling. The timeline of the proceedings can be greatly affected by the state you live in because of the varying laws and lack of federal regulations.
It is possible to get a DIY divorce, which involves printing the necessary paperwork and filing everything correctly. While this divorce option is often the quickest, it is not designed for couples with many shared assets or children. Also, a DIY solution is not advisable if you are not familiar with divorce law.
Mediation or Arbitration
Mediation or arbitration is the more advanced level of divorce proceedings when compared to DIY options. Each person hires representation and then they sit down at a table and negotiate the terms of the divorce together. Mediations require the couple to agree on everything and settle differences amicably. Arbitration is usually run by a former judge, and they will make the final determination for any unsettled assets.
If you would rather not sit in a room with your soon-to-be-ex, then you can choose to have your divorce finalized through negotiated settlements, but this is a potentially lengthy process. Each party’s lawyer will negotiate the terms of the divorce, requiring the approval of each asset along the way. This method requires a lot of back-and-forth, but you can still remain at a distance.
If you cannot find a way to settle a divorce amicably, then you may have no choice but to pursue the claim in court. Unfortunately, it takes time to make it onto the court docket, which means the proceedings often take longer than any other option.
If you want to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible, then you are best served by seeking a mediation or arbitration, or possibly negotiated settlement.