Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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202-644-9609 301-200-5094

What's the timeframe of the average divorce process?

Everyone wants to get their divorces over and done with as quickly as possible. What many spouses discover, however, is that the process takes longer than they thought. Just because your distant cousin — who was unemployed and didn't have any assets to his and his spouse's name — finalized his divorce in two months does not mean that you and your husband will finalize your marital break-up that quickly.

Ultimately, the length of your divorce will depend on the strategies you implement. Let's review some of the most common divorce strategies and how long they tend to take:

The do-it-yourself divorce

The do-it-yourself divorce is the most ill-advised divorce strategy you could implement as it may cause you a lot of legal trouble later. However, if you don't have many assets, no kids and you haven't been married very long, it could be a suitable option. All this requires is filing a petition with the court. You will need to wait for court's approval, but you should be divorced within a couple of months.

The mediated divorce

If you and your spouse have considerable assets and children and you get along and can negotiate peacefully, a mediated divorce is an excellent option. Mediation can add the grease needed to speed up your divorce process, keep it on track and finalize it as quickly as possible. You might meet with a mediator for three to 12 sessions over the course of a month or two to reach accord on a formally-drafted divorce agreement that covers all of your bases legally. Then, you must file your divorce agreement and wait for the court to approve it. This could take another couple of months depending on how fast your local family court can process the paperwork.

The litigated divorce

In terms of speed, litigating your divorce through the family court system is the slowest way to dissolve your marriage. You will need to wait for court hearings, litigation deadlines and other potential challenges that could delay the process. In the worst of cases, a divorce could drag on for years before a family court judge issues his or her final divorce decree.

What to do if you want a fast divorce

If you want the fastest divorce possible, it all depends on you and your soon-to-be ex working together to establish your divorce settlement. Ultimately, working with a skilled mediator may be the fastest, safest and most cost-effective way to speed up your divorce proceedings.

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