How Long Will My Divorce Take?

Every client that I meet in my office either asks or tells me that their divorce case will be easy or hard. They tell me if they have worked out most of the issues and whether their spouse is crazy, unreasonable and difficult or reasonable, fair and ready to settle.

I tell my clients that they will know as fast as I do whether their case will proceed smoothly and neither person will ever see the inside of the courthouse because all issues will be amicably resolved or whether they will be fighting for custody, trying to prove their spouse's real income and arguing over the value of their assets and the division of property and debt.

My clients usually know before the first consultation the direction that their case will usually follow. If you know that your spouse is seriously seeking custody of the children of the marriage, the case will take longer because the court will often appoint an attorney for the child, there will be allegations made by one or both sides as to parental fitness and what is in the best interests of the child.

If either party works in a cash business where income is not reported or works off the books, there is a high likelihood that the tax returns are not accurately reflecting the true income earned. Child Support and Spousal Support will be harder to determine where there is unreported income.

If either person owns a successful business or acquired a license or degree that "enhanced their earning capacity" a forensic accounting report will be necessary. If the couple own multiple homes or land unless they agree on the value an appraisal will usually be needed.

Whether people are rich or poor does not always determine the cost or amount of time that a divorce will take. People with large sums of money potentially have greater ability to resolve their case then people with less where every dollar counts. The ability to pay legal fees is also a factor but clearly not the only factor in determining the amount of time a case will take.

When both clients and attorneys are reasonable in their positions, where assets are disclosed and values agreed upon, where both parents recognize that the children need to have healthy relationships with their mother and father those cases will settle quickly with less emotional upset and less expense.

Choosing an experienced divorce attorney and being reasonable are probably the two most important things that you can control. If your spouse also wants to be fair and respect your needs resolution will be fast.