How Long Does It Take To File Divorce Papers?

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How Long Does It Take To File Divorce Papers - how long does it take to file for divorce - how long does it take to serve divorce papers

Let’s look at how long does it take to file divorce papers. 

In this article you’ll learn about:

  • types of divorces and how long does it take to file for divorce
  • steps involved in the divorce process
  • things that affect how long a divorce takes
  • mandatory waiting periods when you file divorce papers

Let’s dig in.

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11 Things Affecting How Long Does It Take To File For Divorce

Every person filing for divorce has a different, complicated scenario. 

But, in general, there are a handful of things that affect how long does it take to file divorce papers. 

Those 11 things are that if:

  • your state has a “cooling-off period
  • your state has a separation period
  • you meet the residency requirements in your state
  • you’re filing “fault” or “no-fault” divorce
  • you can find your spouse to serve them 
  • your divorce is uncontested
  • your divorce is contested
  • you need to split assets and/or businesses
  • you have serious custody battles
  • there are hidden assets
  • the courts have a backlog of divorce cases

Every couple deals with different variations of these issues. 

That’s why it’s hard to answer how long does it take to file divorce papers. 

But there are ways to speed up the process. 

Related: How to Leave Your Husband

Speeding Up How Long It Takes To File Divorce Papers

You can speed up your divorce if you and your spouse resolve common disagreements. 

Most couples will spend months battling each other about:

  • splitting assets and debts
  • how child custody should get split
  • what the visitation schedule is
  • who pays child support and how much
  • who pays alimony and how much
  • whether one spouse should keep the other on their health insurance

Let’s say you and your spouse can resolve these issues BEFORE you file for divorce.

In this case, you can have speed up your divorce by months or even years. 

(More on how long the average divorce takes below.)

How Long Does It Take To File Divorce Papers

How long does it take to file divorce papers depends on you.

There are three things that need to happen for all of the divorce papers to get filed.

  • You need to fill out the divorce petition. 
  • You need to serve your spouse the divorce petition. 
  • Your spouse needs to respond. 

It takes no time to file divorce papers. 

You just show up to the courthouse and file them. 

Serving your spouse and getting their response can take up to two months. 

You have to have the Sheriff’s department serve the divorce papers. 

And then your spouse has ~30 days to respond to the divorce petition. 

But how long does a divorce take depends on the type of divorce. 

When you are filing for an uncontested divorce, filing for divorce is quick. 

But a contested divorce will take 2-3 times as long to get divorced. 

Related: How Long Can A Spouse Drag Out A Divorce

Filing For Uncontested Divorce

Filing for an uncontested divorce is the fastest way to file for divorce. 

If how long a divorce takes is important to you, try to file for an uncontested divorce. 

An uncontested divorce can take anywhere between 2-6 months to finalize. 

An uncontested divorce means you have resolved all issues before you file for divorce. 

These issues include things like:

  • who pays how much alimony
  • child custody and visitation schedules
  • how to split assets and debts

Even if you don’t agree on these things yet, you can still get an uncontested divorce. 

As long as you hash these things out BEFORE you file your divorce papers.

Related: How Long Does A Divorce Take?

Filing For Contested Divorce

A contested divorce can take 6-12+ months to complete. 

And highly contested divorces can take years to wrap up completely. 

Especially if it’s a high net worth divorce and there are lots of assets and businesses. 

Let’s assume you and your spouse cannot resolve major issues and you need to file contested. 

In this case, the judge will need to make decisions for you. 

How long does it take to file divorce papers for a contested divorce depends on how long it takes:

  • to serve your spouse with divorce papers
  • for your spouse to respond to the divorce papers (they have a month to reply)
  • to perform the discovery process (this can take ~6 months)
  • to complete mandatory mediation and parenting classes
  • to schedule and attend the final trial

Related: How To Get A Divorce For Free

Mandatory Waiting Periods When Filing For Divorce

Some states have a mandatory waiting period when filing for divorce. 

While others have zero mandatory waiting periods. 

Mandatory waiting periods “let you decide if you really want a divorce.”

Let’s say your state has a mandatory waiting period

In this case, you can file the divorce papers and start the process. 

But they won’t finalize the divorce until the waiting period is up. 

Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child

Figuring Out How Long Does It Take To File Divorce Papers

If you want the best divorce attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.

We also make sure that your divorce judgment is equitable and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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