A divorce is a complicated situation. It’s something you wouldn’t want to go through.
However, when you have to go through it, you’d often want it to end soon.
Let it happen, make the papers, and leave everything closed. Afterward, you can restructure your life again.
From the initial filing to finalization, how long do divorces take? How much time are you in this?
We take a look at an uncontested divorce’s timeline here.
How Long Do Divorces Take?
Are you wondering about the timeline? The answer to that critical question is complicated.
Divorces don’t depend on a single factor. It takes numerous variables to determine how long the process can go.
The variables can sometimes be uncontrollable. Among which we have:
- Place where the separation takes place
- Whether or not there are children
- Liquidation of the economic society
Do you know that there are procedures that you must follow to reduce your divorce term?
Keep reading to find out!
Types of Divorce
Planning a divorce? You must be wondering whether there are different means of doing it.
There are different types of divorces. Some are cheaper and faster, others are more expensive.
You’ll have to decide which one suits you the most, given your situation.
This is a real case that takes place before the Court. Contested divorces mean that you and your spouse do not agree on some aspect of your divorce (or all aspects).
These cases may involve service of documents, temporary orders, mediation, and if you still can’t agree after all of that, trial.
It only takes one spouse to request a divorce. That is, even if one of the spouses doesn’t want a divorce, the other one may file for it.
The contested divorce is handled almost all through the Courts.
Issues such as retirement accounts, investments, business ownership, debts, student loans, credit cards, where children live, where children go to school, etc. can lead to a contested divorce.
This type of divorce, separations, is by mutual agreement. It’s a convenient and straightforward way to do it. It’s one of the cheapest and least embarrassing options. Also, you can always get it quickly.
Circumstances that can lead to uncontested divorce include the presence of children.
You can agree in all fields, but the judicial process will still occur. Therefore, you’ll have to present an agreement to the court.
You must state all fundamental issues of the agreement, issues related to children custody, the visitation regime, or the pension. There will also be issues such as the distribution of marital assets.
This process saves costs, as well as time. It’s also a much more cordial and less painful way of dealing with this type of situation.
Conditions for Uncontested Divorce
The first phase of the divorce process begins with extrajudicial procedures. You must draft the divorce regulatory agreement.
The time for the inspection of this phase is variable. It depends on the willingness of the spouses to reach an agreement.
In some cases, the spouses reach an agreement without significant problems. Thus, this can occur within a week.
As for the judicial procedures, the Court itself marks the time. The Court must determine the promptness or the slowness of the case.
As a general rule, if there are no setbacks, divorce by mutual agreement can end within two weeks.
What Procedures are Necessary?
There are only three steps necessary to dissolve the marriage.
In the first place, you must fill the divorce petition and summons. If you prepare the petition together and file it, you are done. If you both do not sign, then it must be served on the one who doesn’t sign. If served in Washington state, your spouse will have 20 days to respond. Failing to respond can lead to default.
Second, you must wait for 90 days. It doesn’t matter that you agree on everything. Washington requires everyone who wants a divorce to wait 90 days in a cooling-off period. The cooling-off period starts as soon as the documents are either served or you file together.
Lastly, you must go to court one last time for a judge’s signature on the final documents. With the judge’s signature, you are legally divorced.
How long do Contested Divorces Take?
Each divorce is different. A divorce ends when one of three things happen: reconciliation, agreement, or a trial. A divorce takes only as long as it takes to reach one of these three things.
In general, mediation will occur at around 6 to 9 months. But there is a lot of preparation that must go into it. Attempting mediation before you are ready is a recipe for disaster. Mediation can also be repeated on different issues or after certain events have happened, like an expert reviewing business accounts.
Different counties in Washington will have different timelines for trial. In Benton and Franklin county, for example, trial is usually set around 9 months from when you file. But in counties like Yakima or Grant, you must request a trial date after the parties are ready. Likewise, in Spokane, you must request a trial date after parties are ready. In those counties where a trial is not set from the beginning, it may take some time to get a date.
And, the more issues that must go to trial, the longer the trial lasts and the longer you will have to wait to go to trial.
Even with scheduling orders and preparation, a trial will usually not happen before a year. In some cases, you may have to wait two years or more before both sides are ready for a trial.
Timeline for Uncontested Divorces
An uncontested divorce, on the other hand, will take significantly less time. You must still follow the scheduling orders and attend Court. But, because uncontested divorces are agreed on all points, there are really two main points where you will deal with the courts.
First, you will begin with a Petition and Joinder and any other documents relating to children, finances, and mandatory disclosures. In these documents, both spouses write down their intent to divorce and their intent to do so by agreement. The
Then, they must wait for the cooling-off period to The shortest time for an uncontested divorce in Washington is 90 days, and that’s only if the court is available on the last day to sign your documents.
Finally, the parties will present their final documents. You must schedule the hearing through the Court clerk and official notice. On the day of the hearing, you must show up and inform the Court of your intention and agreement. You may have to give testimony regarding each one’s belief of the correctness of the agreement. This is true in small counties like Grant and Walla Walla.
In counties such as Benton, Franklin, and Spokane; this testimony can be by written declaration or affidavit.
Once the judge signs, you are done! This means that the uncontested divorce will be a minimum of 90 days, but only if you are both on the ball and get things filed right away.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Divorce?
If you are having a hard time negotiating with your spouse, can’t reach an agreement, don’t know how to prepare for mediation, don’t want to go to trial alone, or feel like you are being tricked into something you don’t want, then yes, of course, you need an attorney.
Negotiation is the key point that’ll mark the time of the process. Therefore, the assistance of divorce lawyers who focus on divorce helps streamline the process.
An attorney will also check the divorce settlement agreement to make sure it’s fair. It’s important to note that one lawyer cannot represent both of you. But it will be up to your spouse whether he or she hires an attorney, too.
Make sure you discuss the strategy to resolve your divorce and an expected timeline with your attorney. You don’t want to hire someone who’ll drag your case.
Ensure you get the best attorney for you! No attorney can say they are the best by law, but that actually works to your benefit. Because not every attorney is the best for you. Make sure you find one that understands you and your unique goals.
Are you going through a divorce and you’ve no idea of where to start? We’ll help you with your divorce. Give us a call today. Mention this ad before the end of October 2019, we will give you a free case evaluation that we normally charge $100 for. But you have to hurry because these free case evaluations have a high demand and we can only do a handful of them a day. Once our dance card is full, you’re out of luck.