It should come as no surprise that one of the most common questions that divorce attorneys get asked is, “How long does it take to get a divorce?”
During a divorce, both parties can typically agree on at least one thing — they want it to go as quickly as possible. They want the process to move speedily so they can close the chapter and move on with their lives.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact answer to the question, “How long does it take to get a divorce?” There are a few factors that offer an estimated timeline.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce In Florida?
On average, a divorce takes about three to 24 months. The time it takes depends heavily on where you file and if you have a contested or uncontested divorce.
Where You File
Where you live and file for divorce can have an impact on the amount of time it will take to finalize your divorce. Some states have certain timelines tied to divorce proceedings.
The following timelines represent estimates for how long it takes to get a divorce in Florida.
An uncontested divorce is one wherein both parties agree on the separation arrangement. Both parties agree on the details of the separation and do not require negotiation, mediation, or trial.
An uncontested divorce often takes around three to four months. It takes a few weeks to file the paperwork and approximately three months to schedule the final hearing.
A contested divorce is one wherein the parties disagree on the arrangement. The parties cannot come to an agreement on how to split assets, liabilities and/or child custody or they cannot agree to alimony or child support terms.
A contested divorce often takes 12 or more months as it typically requires negotiation and meditation, and sometimes, a trial. The timeline in a contested divorce includes time to prepare paperwork (a month), receive an answer (up to 20 days), produce discovery (up to 90 days), participate in mediation (two to three months), and schedule the final hearing (three months). The timeline can be longer if an agreement can’t be made and the case needs to go to trial.
Keep in mind that these are just estimates. If you want to know how long your specific case will take, talk to a divorce attorney who can listen to the details of your situation and provide a more accurate timeline.
Related: How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Florida?
How Can I Speed Up the Divorce Process?
One of the fastest ways to get a divorce is through a Simplified Divorce. A Simplified Divorce requires less litigation which expedites the process and allows couples to move more quickly through the process.
Not all couples are eligible for a Simplified Divorce. They must meet certain criteria to be able to file a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. The divorce must be uncontested, and no minor children can be involved. If you are ready to file for divorce in Florida and you want the process to move quickly, review the Simplified Divorce guidelines to see if you qualify.
What Will Slow Down the Divorce Process?
One of the reasons why attorneys can’t easily answer the question “how long does it take to get a divorce” is because there are some factors you can’t control.
Your proceedings can slow down depending on the availability of a judge. You may have to wait for hearing times. Also, process errors from either party can slow down the process. If an attorney on either side fails to follow proper procedures or files inaccurate documents, the process can take more time.
Yet, the primary reason why a divorce process slows down is because the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Contested divorces where both parties cannot agree on splitting assets and liability, child custody, and alimony, among other financial details, add time to the divorce process. If you want your divorce to go quickly, you will need to come to an agreement with your partner as soon as possible.
Get an Accurate Timeline for Your Divorce
How long does it take to get a divorce in Florida? Well, it depends.
Consider your unique situation to get an idea about the potential timeline, and add a cushion of extra time to factor in unforeseen issues that could cause delays. If you want a realistic timeline, talk to a family law attorney.
An experienced attorney can give you an accurate estimate because they will have past cases and a knowledge of your local court system to inform them.
They can pull from past experiences to help you see how details of your case may impact timelines. They will also have ideas about how the court system in your community works and be able to tell you about how long it takes to see a judge and if cases are often rescheduled or delayed.
Related: How to Prepare for the First Meeting with a Divorce Attorney
Time is ticking.
If you want to get through your divorce as quickly as possible, start the process by contacting TJ Grimaldi today. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 to get answers about timelines and discover what you need to do to get through your divorce as quickly as possible.
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