How Long Will My Divorce Take?
Here are some guidelines
Although I’m sure there is an average, if you had access to all the data, every case is so different that knowing the average probably won’t help much.
But here is some guidance that you may be helpful.
Unless an exception is granted due to family violence, every Divorce MUST last at least 60 days from filing to completion.
Note: The 60 Days runs from Filing, NOT from service or knowledge of the other side.
Theoretically, a person could file, not tell their spouse for 60 days, then tell them and get them to sign a waiver of service and sign an agreed decree, and the case would be over virtually immediately after the non-filing person learned of it.
So, basically 60 days is the minimum.
As for the maximum, there isn’t one. I have been a part of cases that lasted 4 1/2 - 5 years. Those were very unusual cases, and I was not responsible for them for that whole time. For example, in the 4 1/2 year one, I was hired in after it had been pending for 4 years, so it was over with about 6 months after I got in it.
If you are one of the unlucky people that end up having to go to trial (maybe 3% of cases) - it takes about 1 - 1 1/2 years to get to a non-jury trial in many Counties (it could be a little shorter or longer, depending upon what all happens in the case, the judge, opposing attorney, etc.)
If you settle through negotiation, without having to get into “heavy” litigation, like discovery and prepping for a trial, you can be done anywhere from 60 days to about 7 months or so.
If you fight about significant things and/or need mediation to settle and/or need to do serious discovery: it will often take 6 months - 15 months to get to the finish line.
Finally, if you use the Collaborative Process, all of the above still applies.