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How long does it take to get a divorce?

When you take the emotional aspects out of the equation, at its core, divorce is a legal process involving many complex matters. Often, when an individual begins the divorce process he or she is hoping for a relatively easy and quick resolution. However, in reality the divorce process often takes longer than one anticipates and can be emotionally, mentally and financially taxing.

For individuals contemplating or planning to divorce, it's wise to become informed about the legal aspects of the divorce process. Doing so can provide an individual with valuable information and help one understand available options as well as limitations when it comes to the divorce process.

To start the divorce process, one spouse must file a divorce petition with the appropriate court. This document outlines a spouse's reason for seeking a divorce as well as his or her preference for settling matters related to child custody and the division of assets. This legal document, along with a summons, is then served on one's spouse after which time he or she is required to formally respond.

Once both parties have made their general wishes known with regard to child custody and how to divide assets, both are required to submit more detailed financial and other relevant information. In some cases, a divorcing couple may be able to arrive at a settlement agreement through basic negotiations and/or mediation. In cases where divorcing spouses are not able to agree on the terms of a divorce, the matter will go to trial.

Divorce trials are much like any other trial. Through the representation of respective attorneys, both sides present their arguments and related evidence after which time a judge rules on the disputed matters.

A number of issues can slow down the divorce process. A divorcing couple’s ability to communicate and negotiate is often key to helping ensure the process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. Throughout the entire process, an individual's divorce attorney can answer questions, provide advice and help work towards finding solutions to divorce matters that will ultimately serve to benefit an individual's current and future personal and financial interests. 

Source: FindLaw.com, "A Divorce Timeline," 2014