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Common Divorce Questions: How Long Will It Take?

How long will it take

One of the most common questions a divorcing client asks us (after “How much will it cost?”) is “How long will it take?” The answer to both questions is, “It all depends.”

According to California law, the earliest a divorce can be finalized is six months and one day from the date the non-petitioning party was served with the petition for dissolution. But there is so much involved, and it generally takes longer than that. Sometimes it takes months, or even years, depending on the actions of the spouses themselves.

Factors Affecting How Long the Divorce Will Take.

Many factors affect how long the divorce process will take. Some of those factors include:

  • How contentious is the divorce? The more the spouses can work together on their own settlement agreement, the shorter the divorce process is likely to be. The more they fight, the longer it will take.
  • Is there full disclosure? If the parties are willing to provide full disclosure of all assets, debts, income, and expenses, there will be no need for court intervention and the divorce will move faster through the process.
  • The stage of grief for each party. Everyone agrees that going through a divorce is an emotional process and there should be time for grieving. One spouse may be early in the grief process and the other one at a later stage. It may take longer for the divorce to become final if one spouse needs more time to grieve before accepting the divorce is happening.

The Divorce Process Determines How Long the Divorce Will Take

Different divorce processes affect how fast a divorce can be completed. Traditional litigation is a process that generally takes a lot of time as the spouses often do not agree on issues. It seems their attorneys often pit them against each other, and they spend a lot of time fighting instead of agreeing. They also spend more time in court which takes up time waiting for a court date and each hearing. 

The Collaborative Divorce process or Mediation process assists the spouses in making decisions without court intervention. The spouses can draft their own settlement agreement which resolves all issues: asset division, child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support.

The judgement is filed with the court that approves it. The court then makes the spouses’ own settlement agreement the final order of the court. This is a faster way to reach the final divorce stage.

A Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney Can Help If You Have Questions About How to Minimize the Time It Will Take For Your Divorce to Be Finalized.

Having a skilled Collaborative Divorce or Mediation Attorney assist you throughout all phases of your divorce is an invaluable time-saver. To schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Rebecca Medina today, call (559) 324-5427 or contact our attorneys online.

Rebecca MedinaAbout the Author: Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina is an experienced Family Law attorney, mediator and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer serving the Fresno and San Diego areas. She handles cases ranging from complex divorce matters to child custody, spousal support, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, QDROs and uncontested divorce cases. She was rated “Clients’ Choice” by Avvo.

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