3 Factors That Play a Role in the Length of Your Divorce Proceedings


The length of your divorce proceedings may be an important part of your life right now. You might be itching to get on with your life, but there is that part of your past just holding you up. If you’re wondering how long your divorce will take, there’s no one answer that works for every case, though there are some factors that play a role in most situations.

  1. Where You Live

The state in which you live will play a role in the length of your divorce proceedings. Many states have what is called a cooling-off period, in which a couple has to wait to file for divorce. This gives them a chance to really think about this big life change and if they really want to go ahead with it. Not every state has a cooling-off period and those that do vary from state to state.

For example, there is no cooling-off period in Montana, but California asks a couple to wait six months. Idaho only requires a 20-day period for the most basic divorce, but it could be longer based on the situation. Keep in mind this cooling-off period is time you have to wait before you can file, making it time added to the amount of time your case actually takes.

  1. The Complexity of the Case

The longer you were married, the more complex your case will typically be. Over the years, you and your spouse may have jointly acquired certain assets such as your house, cars, and other large-ticket items. You may have also collected some joint debts.

Children will also make divorce more complex. You’ll have to deal with child custody and child support. This is often the area that takes a while because reasonably, both spouses want as much time with their children as possible. You’ll need to come up with a plan that works for everyone, but also puts the children’s needs ahead of any other selfish desires.

  1. The Type of Divorce

When you speak with a lawyer about your divorce, you might learn about some of the more common types of divorce. This includes litigation, collaborative divorce, and mediation. Litigation is the default, making collaboration and mediation alternative routes to take. Litigation will typically take longer because things will be disputed and contested and end up in court.

Getting Started Today

The amount of time your divorce takes will depend on quite a few factors. Because you’re ready to move on with your life, get the process started today by speaking with a family lawyer, like a family law lawyer in Arlington, VA.


Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP, for their time and input into family law.