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How long does it take to get a divorce?

Divorce is often the end of a long journey. Many couples struggle for a long time to determine whether the end of their marriage is the right solution. For many, the idea of a long divorce process after that difficult emotional journey is daunting, and you may wonder how long it will take to get a divorce. Because every divorce is unique, the length of the divorce process can depend on a variety of factors.

Waiting periods

Depending on the reason for your divorce, you may be required to wait before filing for divorce. In Pennsylvania, the waiting period for a divorce if only one partner wants the divorce is one year, as of December 2016. If you both agree to the divorce, you will have to wait for 90 days unless you have already been separated for one year.

In New Jersey, on the other hand, fault-based divorces that involve adultery or abuse may require a waiting period before you can file based on those factors. “No-fault” divorces, divorces where couples have been separated for a year and a half or divorces of couples who have been married for less than six months do not require a waiting period.

New Jersey also requires you or your spouse to have lived in the state for twelve months before you can file in the state.

Court involvement, mediation and other processes

In addition to these waiting periods, the specifics of your divorce will impact how long the divorce takes. High asset divorces or divorces that involve real estate, business ownership or other complex assets tend to involve a longer, more involved property division. Likewise, determining child custody and support can result in a long divorce process.

Conflict between you and your spouse can also result in a longer divorce. If you can work together through a process like mediation, you may be able to reach a solution quickly. Fighting over who is to blame for the end of your marriage, assets or child custody will result in a much longer process.

If you need court involvement in your divorce, the court’s schedule can also impact how long your divorce takes. If the court docket has a long backlog, you may have to wait some time to have your day in court.

One of the best ways to determine how long your divorce will take from the initial filing to the eventual dissolution is to speak to your attorney. They can help determine which options are available to you and create a legal strategy that both suits your needs now and helps you start your post-divorce life sooner.


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