Can a Divorce Be Final in Two Months?

By Elizabeth Rayne

Once a couple decides to divorce, they often want to move through the process as quickly as possible. Whether or not you can finalize a divorce within two months is largely dependent on the laws of your state and also on your ability to come to a settlement agreement with your spouse. In addition to the waiting period that some states impose on all divorcing couples, you must also ensure that you or your spouse meets the residency requirements of your state to obtain a divorce.

Settlement Agreements

If you and your spouse can reach a settlement agreement, it can significantly reduce the time necessary to finalize the divorce. A settlement agreement typically includes all the terms of the divorce, such as property division, alimony and child custody arrangements. If you fail to come to an agreement with your spouse, the court might require you both to attend mediation to sort through your differences. If you fail to reach an agreement in mediation -- and your spouse continues to contest the terms of the divorce, or contests the grounds for divorce -- your divorce case might go to trial, which can take anywhere from six months to more than a year.

Joint Petition for Divorce

Some states, including Ohio and Oregon, allow couples to file a joint petition for divorce, which speeds up the divorce process. In states that allow it, you can file a joint petition when both you and your spouse agree on all the terms of the divorce or are close to reaching an agreement. By jointly filing, you do not need to follow the time-consuming steps of serving the divorce complaint on your spouse and waiting for him to file an answer. However, just because you file jointly does not mean you can obtain your divorce in two months. For example, in Ohio, even when you file jointly, it can still take up to 90 days for the court to finalize your divorce.

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Simplified Divorce

Some states, including Florida and California, allow couples to file for a summary or simplified divorce. Like a joint petition, a summary dissolution allows the couple to avoid many of the procedures involved with traditional divorce proceedings, including a trial. However, states generally have strict qualifying criteria, disallowing many couples the option of filing for a simplified divorce. Simplified divorces are typically available to couples who do not have children, do not want alimony, do not have a lot of assets, and agree on how they will divide property.

Waiting Period

Waiting periods before a court will finalize the divorce are common -- even in cases of summary divorce or when couples agree to the terms of the divorce -- but vary among states. For example, in California, even if you file for a summary divorce and agree on property division, the court will not finalize your divorce until six months after the filing date. Similarly, Oregon has a three-month waiting period, even if the parties file a joint petition. However, in Florida, there is only a 20-day waiting period from the date of filing for all types of divorce. Furthermore, a Florida judge can waive the 20-day waiting period under certain circumstances, such as when the parties have a marital settlement agreement that includes a clause waiving the waiting period. Another state in which you can obtain a divorce quickly is Nevada, which has no waiting period. To obtain a divorce in Nevada, one party must reside in the state for six weeks -- and if the parties agree to all terms of the divorce, the divorce may be finalized in as little as two to three weeks.

Final Hearing

Even with uncontested divorces, many states require that the couple -- or at least one party -- attend a final hearing. During the final hearing, the court reviews the settlement agreement to ensure that it is fair to both spouses. Depending on the schedule of the court, waiting for the final hearing might extend the divorce process past any required waiting period.

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How Long Until a Divorce Is Final in Florida?

References

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How Long Till a Divorce Is Final After Filing?

Divorces are not finalized overnight. Even if you and your spouse are in complete agreement on the major divorce issues, many states have mandatory waiting periods that automatically delay the process. Further, depending on where you file, court scheduling will play a key factor in determining the time it takes a judge to sign off on the divorce.

How to Do Your Own Divorce in Ohio

Either spouse may legally file for divorce in the state of Ohio. If your divorce is uncontested or no-fault, you can likely do it yourself without the assistance of an attorney. If your spouse contests the divorce or you anticipate a complex process, you should consider consulting a family attorney for advice. Ohio law allows you to end a marriage in one of two ways, either by divorce or dissolution of marriage. The dissolution of marriage procedure is cheaper and less bureaucratic, but requires each spouse to agree on all essential issues.

Can a Divorce Be Stopped in Florida If the Papers Have Been Filed?

In Florida, a divorce is known as a dissolution of marriage. So long as the dissolution decree has not yet been issued in your case -- which finalizes the divorce and makes it official -- you and your spouse can stop the dissolution of your marriage at any time.

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