How Long Does a Divorce Take? Factors Influencing the Duration of the Process

When we talk about a marital breakup, what we often want is for it to end soon. Let it happen now, do the paperwork, leave everything closed, and restructure our lives again.

Also for children in common, if there are any, since it is a process that can leave a mark on them, especially if they are minors.

That is why one of the fundamental questions we ask ourselves before the process begins is: how long does a divorce take?

The answer to that key question is complex. It does not depend on a single factor but is influenced by numerous variables that will determine how many months or years the breakup process can last .

Variables that cannot always be controlled, and among which we can highlight:

Type of divorce
Place where the divorce takes place
Whether there are children or not
Liquidation of the economic company
What we are going to try with this post is to give you the guidelines to ensure that the time your procedure lasts, as far as possible, is reduced to a minimum .

And furthermore, we are going to provide statistics that will be useful for you to make your decisions and face divorce with greater guarantee, one of the most frequent procedures within the branch of Family Law.

Divorce by mutual agreement or by contentious means


This is one of the factors to be analyzed, and for which we have specific figures through the National Institute of Statistics. The first thing you should know is that an express divorce or divorce by mutual agreement will be resolved much faster than a contentious one .

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It is true that understanding will not always be easy. But it is also equally true that it is always advisable ( and also cheaper ) to seek that consensus with your ex-partner – and the help of your divorce lawyer – to be able to draft the regulatory agreement together and present it to the courts without the need to litigate.

It happens that in contentious divorces two hearings are required before the judge , one provisional and the other final. And here comes the second of the four factors that we address in the next point.

How long does an uncontested divorce take?


According to the latest official data available, from 2020, divorces by mutual agreement in USA had an average duration of 3.9 months .

53.5% of uncontested divorces were resolved in less than 3 months, while 27.9% took between 3 and 5 months. The remaining 18.6% took more than 5 months.

How long does a contentious divorce take?
With data from 2020, contentious divorces in USA took an average of 12 months .

19.5% of contested divorces were resolved in less than six months, 43.5% took between 6 and 11 months, and 37% of contested divorces took more than 12 months .

The speed of the courts


Here, being very sorry, you will not be able to influence this factor.

Although it is one of the important points in the process, neither ex-spouses nor lawyers can play any role in speeding up court times.

So your divorce will depend on the agility of the courts of the municipality where you are going to make the divorce effective , which is usually the place where you have your family residence.

The provisional hearing, in general, is usually called a few months after filing the divorce application , regardless of where it occurs. But the process can be delayed, even years, waiting to be called for the final hearing if it is a contentious breakup .

The volume of cases that the courts have will determine when the marital dissolution can be made effective.

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We must also not forget that in a contentious divorce, the services that the parties can request come into play : evaluations from psychiatric doctors, declarations to minors and a long list of mechanisms available to the ex-spouses that will make the process longer. .

Divorce with children in common, or without children?


This is another of the big problems when approaching divorce, and it will determine the duration of the procedure. We always insist that in the event of a marriage breakup the weakest party will always be the minors in common that the couple may have, who will suffer a painful process without having the tools to understand it that adults have.

For this reason, the protection of common children, the so-called ‘ best interests of the minor ‘, is one of the main concerns in a divorce, both on the part of lawyers and on the part of the judge and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

How does having children influence the length of time a divorce lasts? When it comes to a marital dissolution with children in common, a series of essential requirements must be included in the regulatory agreement: type of custody , alimony , visitation regime …

All of this means that negotiations are more complex if mutual agreement is chosen, which translates into an increase in time.

Furthermore, at the time of validating the agreement presented by the parties, the judge will have to carefully study how what was agreed upon by the ex-spouses affects the minors in common, since if any point goes against the interest of the minor it will be withdrawn. .

Likewise, in contentious divorces it is more complex to capture in a document the conditions that will regulate the relationship between children and their parents. Without forgetting to take into account the opinion of the children, since from the age of 12 they can be brought before the court to give testimony.

For all these reasons, and in general, divorces without children are resolved more quickly than those with children . However, responsibility between the parties who dissolve their relationship will be essential to reach a point of agreement quickly, even if there are children.

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Dissolving the economic partnership of marriage


The last of the major blocks that influence the length of time the divorce procedure will last is the liquidation of the economic regime of the marriage . It should be noted that this is not a procedure that must be completed at the time of filing the claim , but rather it can be extended over time, without the Law defining how long.

Liquidating the economic partnership at the time of drafting the regulatory agreement for divorce has many advantages and is what lawyers specializing in Family Law recommend.

If this is not done, it is possible that at that time you will save money (part of your lawyer’s fees) and speed up the procedure somewhat, but you will still be linked to your ex-partner and you will not be able to dispose of your assets freely, which could affect your viability. future economic situation to the decisions of your ex-spouse.

Once the decision has been made, to dissolve the matrimonial property regime, specialists take into account the type of society created: community property or separation of assets.

The procedures to break the community property partnership will be more complex since it is a model in which practically all assets, rights and obligations (except the private assets described in the Civil Code ) obtained during the marriage by either of the two members are pooled and belong to both fifty percent.

On the other hand, in the property separation regime, carrying out the inventory and dividing the properties between the former spouses is simpler – which does not mean that it is easy – because each one is the owner of their income and what is with them. bought.

If you do not know by which regime your marriage is governed, this decision was reflected in the marriage agreements signed at the beginning of your union, although it can be modified once the marriage progresses.

Once you know what the keys are so that your breakup is resolved in the shortest possible time, we recommend that you contact a family lawyer who will guide, advise and protect you with the aim of being able to dissolve your marriage in the least harmful way. possible for you and your children.

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