How Long Till a Divorce Is Final After Filing?

By Wayne Thomas

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.

Divorce Timetables

When a couple cannot reach an agreement on any aspect of child custody, spousal support or property, the case must be resolved through trial. This is known as a contested divorce, and it can take several months to exchange information and prepare for the hearing. Uncontested divorces, where parties are in complete agreement on the terms of the divorce, are generally much quicker and are resolved by a short hearing without trial. However, some states refuse to grant any divorce until a specified time period has passed after filing, which can range from a number of days to several months. In addition, even after the divorce is granted, some locations also put a hold on your ability to remarry for a stated period. For example, Oklahoma statutes state that it is unlawful to remarry someone, in the state, other than your former spouse within 6 months from the date of your Oklahoma divorce decree.

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How Long Does Divorce Take in Michigan if You Have No Children?

Establishing custody and support for a minor child can be a time-consuming aspect of the divorce process. These matters often become highly contested and Michigan law imposes a longer waiting period for divorces if you have children. Otherwise, the time it takes to finalize any divorce generally comes down to how quickly you and your spouse can agree on all issues and reach a settlement.

What Is a Pending Divorce?

A divorce goes through many stages, starting from the first serious issues arising between a couple and terminating in the final divorce decree issued by the court. A pending divorce generally refers to the intermediate stage after the divorce papers have been filed and before the court has issued judgment.

What Determines the State You Get Divorced In?

Typically, you file for divorce in the jurisdiction where you currently reside. Most states, with the exception of South Dakota and Washington, require that you be a resident of the state for a certain length of time before you file for divorce. This length of time varies by state. South Dakota and Washington simply require that you be a "resident" without specifying a length of time you need to live there first. If your situation is complex and you are unsure about where to file for divorce, consult an attorney experienced in family law.

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