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How long will an uncontested divorce normally take?

October 3, 2017

The length of time needed to complete final conventional divorce proceedings often depend upon a number of different circumstances and can potentially last a long time. However, an uncontested divorce might be concluded over a shorter duration. The following is a brief piece discussing the tenets of an uncontested divorce, as well as the factors that determine how long such an action would take to complete.

What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
This type of legal split occurs when a divorcing couple agrees to separate without the need for a judge or court to decide how to resolve matters such as dividing assets, determining if one spouse will have to pay alimony payments to the other, awarding child custody and visitation rights and deciding who will retain ownership of mutually owned properties. That said, an often overlooked factor in measuring the duration of most uncontested divorces is the time necessary to reach such understanding.
Just because the couple will not need legal intervention to resolve specific matters does not always mean such compromise was agreed upon over a short period of time. The negotiation process by which the splitting couple came to a mutual understanding on pertinent matters can be fast in amicable separations, but may last several months to more than a year in more contentious and/or complicated situations.

How Does An Uncontested Divorce Become Official?
From a legal standpoint, the divorcing couple will be required to complete a Marital Settlement Agreement. This document enters into official record how the couple has decided to resolve the crucial, aforementioned issues. Once the Settlement Agreement is signed, one of the separating parties must file a Complaint for Divorce against the other separating party in the particular state and/or municipality they reside in. After this step is completed, divorce papers are then served to the non-filing spouse. That individual is then typically given a period of around a month to answer the complaint. Should no objections be voiced in wake of the complaint, an uncontested divorce can be granted.
Child custody matters are of particular importance in uncontested divorces. The courts will want to ensure the best interests of the children of divorcing parents are represented by any uncontested agreement. Therefore, many courts require a child custody arrangement statement that is approved by a judge be part of any Marital Settlement Agreement.

How Long Does It Take For An Uncontested Divorce To Become Official?
The amount of time necessary varies from place to place. Certain states impose waiting periods from when a complaint is filed before granting a divorce decree. Courts often put forth this waiting period to ensure the separating parties are truly intent on divorcing. In some cases, a divorce ruling might be handed down as early as a day after such a waiting period ends. However, in the majority of instances, that duration ranges anywhere from several weeks to several months. Moreover, in some states, the waiting period could last up to a year and a half. In addition, specific courts might also require the divorcing parties to participate in a final hearing, which occurs in a courtroom.

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