People contemplating divorce usually ask: How long does it take to get a divorce in Florida? Although there is no definite answer as each case varies, our opinion is centered on one key factor: is the divorce being contested?
In other words, the time it takes for you to divorce may be estimated on what issues, if any, are remaining.
How long does it take to get a divorce if both parties agree?
An uncontested divorce means that both you and your spouse agree on everything. This includes, for example, child support, custody, visitation, division of marital assets and liabilities, and alimony.
So, how long does it take to get a divorce if both parties agree? Every case is different. Speaking from experience, an uncontested divorce can take as little as two to four weeks.
It’s important to try to work out the issues between you and your spouse before filing for divorce. Doing so may allow you to gauge what your spouse wants, and may save you the costs of having to litigate.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
A contested divorce is one where the parties cannot agree on terms. This includes issues such as how the parties will divide their assets and liabilities; or whether one spouse will be receiving alimony.
From experience, a contested divorce can take three months or longer. In fact, I’ve seen cases take longer than a year. Here’s the most common reason why: It may take longer to schedule your trial due to the Judge’s caseload.
Courts decide how the issues will be handled when a divorce is contested. Several procedural requirements must be completed before going to court for trial. Some courts, such as in Miami-Dade County, are backed up with cases. So it may take months before you can schedule a trial.
How can we make things easier in contested matters?
Mediation. You can always attempt to resolve issues by mediating the case, regardless of whether the divorce has been filed.
From experience, every contested matter we have represented has been referred to mediation. This means that you will have the opportunity to go before a mediator to try to settle the case without having to go to trial.
If the pending issues are resolved during mediation, you and your spouse will sign an agreement memorializing the terms. After that, the mediator will notify the court of the agreement, and the case will be ready to be finalized.
Check out our post on Getting Divorced in Florida if you are thinking of filing and need some direction!
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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