A common question of domestic law proceedings is “How long will it take?”
Divorce, Dissolution, or Separation
Most terminations of marriage are completed within one year. Because dissolution and separations usually involve a higher level of cooperation, they often take less time than a divorce. Divorce cases can sometimes take several years, depending on the nature of the lawsuit and contests over parental rights and child support.
Mediation vs. Litigation
Oftentimes, the husband and wife are in agreement about how to resolve many of the issues relating to the termination of their marriage. For those few remaining issues where an agreement cannot be reached, both parties may be willing to work with a mediator to resolve the conflict. Mediation is usually much faster than litigation and can make a big difference on the timeframe.
Child Custody and Support
If both parents can agree upon the details of child custody and support, as typically covered within a Shared Parenting Plan, the time required to terminate the marriage is greatly reduced. One of the most common reasons terminations of marriage take longer than one year is due to contested child custody and support.