How Long Will My Divorce Take?
Many people who decide to file for divorce in Orlando want to know how long the divorce process will take and what kind of timeline they should expect. Unfortunately, since every case comes with its own set of facts and particularities, it is difficult if not impossible to say precisely how much time your case is likely to take without having a lawyer assess the case for you. In the meantime, however, we want to give you some information that can help you to estimate how long your case could take.
Are You Eligible for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage?
If you are eligible for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage under Florida law, your divorce could be finalized as quickly as 30 days from the date of filing your petition to the court order declaring you to be divorced. However, most married couples cannot use the Simplified Dissolution of Marriage process. This is only for couples who have no minor children or children under the age of 18, no pending requests for alimony or spousal support, and no unresolved issues that the divorce must decide. In other words, the parties must agree to all terms of the divorce. As soon as one of these requirements does not exist, the couple must go through a standard divorce process.
Are You Anticipating a Contested or Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses agree to all of the issues in the divorce, including alimony or spousal maintenance, the division of marital assets and debts, child custody, child support, and any other existing issues. If the parties are able to reach their own agreement and to develop a parenting plan without having to involve the court in a family law dispute, the divorce will go much more quickly. However, if even one issue is in dispute, then the divorce will be known as a contested divorce, and the parties will need to plan for one or more court hearings in which the judge hears the issues in the dispute and renders a decision.
An uncontested divorce often can be finished in as quickly as three months from the date of the divorce filing, while a contested divorce will take significantly longer.
Do You Have Minor Children from Your Marriage?
If you are expecting a contested divorce, the more issues that the court needs to resolve, the longer (in general) you should expect your case to take. In particular, if you have minor children from your marriage and you cannot reach an agreement about child custody with your spouse, the court will need to take time to determine what kind of child custody and time-sharing situation is in the child’s best interest, and this can take quite some time. In some contested divorces with complex disputes, a divorce can take more than a year.
Seek Advice from a Divorce Lawyer in Orlando
When you contact an Orlando divorce attorney at our firm, we can give you a clearer estimate of the potential timeline in your case based on the specific set of facts. Contact Anderson & Ferrin to speak with one of our family law attorneys today.