How Long Does a Divorce Take?

The marriage dissolution, or divorce, process can take from a few weeks to years, depending on the specific situation involved. The main factors determining the length of the proceedings are whether the parties agree to a divorce, whether they agree on all matters involving the divorce and whether the couple has children.

There are two types of divorce: uncontested and contested. An uncontested divorce is typically the faster and easier process. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree that there should be a divorce and reach an agreement that lays out the terms of the divorce. If there are no children between the parties, an uncontested divorce can be approved by a court administratively. If there are children, a hearing before a judge will be required to approve the agreement.

In the more complicated and often longer process of contested divorce, one spouse may argue against the divorce or both parties may fail to agree on the terms of the divorce, such as how the marital property should be split. When a divorce is contested, the parties may have to go through mediation or litigation to hammer out issues such as spousal support.

When children are involved, the process may be more drawn out. When custody is contested, this process can take much longer. In cases where there are disputes about custody, other issues often become contested as well. When there are complex issues of custody and property division, it is not unheard of for couples to spend years litigating these matters.

For help understanding the divorce process, speak with a family law attorney at the Minnesota firm of Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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