Once you and your ex-spouse have made the decision to get divorced, it may be after many months or even years of trying to make the marriage work.
There’s a certain obvious finality that comes with divorce and leaves many separating couples wondering how they can get through it in the quickest way possible.
An uncontested divorce is the quickest way
To be eligible for an uncontested divorce, also known as a “simple divorce,” there are a few requirements that need to be met:
- State residency (of at least one spouse) for a period of time before the divorce
- Agreement on all the issues surrounding the divorce including children, property and debt
- A year-long separation preceding filing for divorce
- The divorce must usually be on a “no-fault” basis
One of the forms a divorcing couple will need to submit to the court is a marital settlement agreement which sets out the agreement that has been reached on all relevant topics as listed above.
How long the entire process takes will depend on a number of factors including the size of your jointly-owned assets and the complexity of separating them. The length of time this takes is, in part, the decision of the divorcing couple. Working with a mediator can make this process faster and less burdensome.
It may be possible to work through a simple uncontested divorce in a few months but it can take longer than this depending on the court’s schedule. You’ll also need to prove that you were both separated for a period of a year before a simple divorce can be granted.
Contested divorce proceedings take the longest
Where it’s not possible to agree on the above issues, divorcing couples will need a contested divorce. This can take a couple of years to conclude depending again on the complexity of the issues that need to be resolved and the level of conflict between the parties. If there is a need for there to be a trial, this can take a few months in itself if there are many issues to adjudicate on.
Understanding your options and estimated timescales for divorce can be made much simpler with the assistance of experienced legal guidance.