How Long Does Divorce Take After Filing Papers

When most people want a divorce, they want it quickly. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Once you file the papers, the divorce can take awhile. The length of the process depends on a variety of factors. Find out how long divorce typically takes from the time you file until it’s finalized.

How the Process Works

Before you take a look at the timeline for divorce after filing, you should know a few things. The process isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

To kick off your divorce, you need to file papers. But those papers aren’t the ones that will be your final arrangement. Once you file, your spouse needs to respond.

The court gives the other spouse between 20 and 60 days to respond to the petition. The exact amount of time they get depends on your state laws. For example, Illinois residents have 30 days to respond to the papers.

If your partner does not respond, the divorce could take longer. Typically, the court gives them another chance to respond. The procedure that follows depends on state laws.

After you your partner responds, you and your partner need to come to an agreement. If you both agree to the terms of the divorce, you have an uncontested divorce. As one of the simplest forms of divorce, it doesn’t take long to finalize things. However, a contested divorce can take months of arguing.

Contested Divorces

About 40 to 50% of married couples in the US go through a divorce. Many of those couples have contested divorces, which can require court appearances and negotiations. You need to sort out all of the details before your divorce is complete.

Some couples try to negotiate their disagreements through mediation. If mediation is successful, the couple can file the final divorce papers. However, an unsuccessful mediation requires the couple to settle their dispute in front of a judge. Typically, contested divorces require a divorce lawyer in Schaumburg, IL.

The Timeline for Divorce

Filing the divorce papers is the easy part. After you file, there are many small details that need to happen. In the simplest of cases, it can a month or longer for the state to recognize your divorce. When there are complexities like child custody, the process can take over a year.

What Factors Affect Your Timeline?

There are several factors that can affect your timeline for divorce. Here’s a closer look at some of them:

1. Mandatory Waiting Period

After you file your final divorce papers, you could have a mandatory waiting period. Only certain states have waiting periods, and the wait time varies. Usually, the wait is between 30 and 90 days. Until that time is up, you cannot get a judge to sign off on your divorce.

2. The Judge’s Schedule

Your divorce is not final until a judge sings it. In some cases, you and your partner appear in front of a judge and agree to it. In some counties, the wait for a judge can take weeks or months.

3. Whether or Not You Work with a Lawyer

Working with someone who has experience with divorce law in Illinois can make your divorce easier and quicker. A Schaumburg divorce lawyer can walk you through the process.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.