No two couples are alike, which means there is also no standard timeframe for how long a divorce should take. The specific circumstances of your situation will ultimately dictate how soon you are able to finalize your divorce. If you are going through a contested divorce, for example, and you and your spouse are unable to agree on certain key issues, it can take quite some time to reach a resolution, especially if you go through divorce litigation. If your divorce is uncontested, however, or you opt for an alternative method, such as mediation, your divorce can be finalized relatively quickly.
Here are some of the variables involved in the divorce process, which can affect the length of time it takes to be finalized:
- Uncontested divorce: If you and your spouse are on the same page regarding key issues like spousal support, child custody, and child support, your divorce can take anywhere from 4 to 5 weeks, assuming at least one of you meets Florida’s residency requirements. In Florida, one spouse must have been a resident for at least 6 months prior to petitioning for a divorce. If you or your spouse is in the military and stationed out of state, it would not affect the residency requirement.
- Contested divorce: If you are going through a contested divorce, your divorce can potentially take a year or more. Couples who cannot reach an agreement through mediation or other means will have to go through litigation, which means they will be at the mercy of the court’s schedule. However, if you are able to agree on some issues, this will help speed things up even if you go through litigation.
- Default divorce: A default divorce is necessary when one cannot find his or spouse or in cases where a spouse is being unresponsive and refusing to show up to a hearing. If your spouse fails to respond to the divorce petition after 20 days, you can file a motion for a default with the court clerk. If the judge signs your default petition, you will attend a hearing to determine the terms of your divorce. When all is said and done, this entire process can take a few months before your divorce is officially finalized.
Contact a divorce attorney to discuss your case. An experienced attorney will be able to give you a better idea regarding the length of time your case might take.
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