You can occasionally get a divorce in less than a year, but it is no longer the norm, especially if there are children involved. Some couples find that it takes far longer than they anticipated to get through the process. This can be frustrating, even if it’s necessary.
If you want your divorce to go quickly, you want to know what can make the divorce process drag on (and on) and how to avoid those traps. With that in mind, here are some common reasons that divorces can take a long time to finish:
You have a lot of contested issues to settle
A contested divorce — one where you can’t agree on important issues like support or how to divide certain assets or debts — is typically longer than an uncontested divorce. It just takes time to get through court appearances and to wait for the court to make a ruling, and you’re at the mercy of the court’s schedule. The more you and your spouse can agree on, the faster your divorce will go.
You have complex assets to divide or child custody is an issue
As noted above, contested divorces do take the longest, so part of the equation is simply what your marriage looks like. A young couple with few assets and no kids can expect a much faster divorce than a couple with minor children and a family business to divide.
Understanding your divorce options
In both simple and complex divorce cases, it’s crucial that you understand all of the options that you have as the process moves forward. Early consultation with an attorney can help you better plan for your future and make good choices about your next steps.