How Hard Is It To Obtain A Divorce?

Most folks understand that ending a marriage generally involves a bit more than hiring a divorce lawyer and filing some paperwork. That leads to questions about just how hard it is to obtain a divorce. Here are some of the factors involved.

Which State the Divorce Is Filed In

Every state has a slightly different take on just how long a divorce should take. Some states have cooling-off periods built into their divorce processes. California has one of the longer ones at 6 months.

A survey conducted by the law website Nolo indicates that the average divorce takes a total of 12 months. Bear in mind that a trial could make this number go much higher.

People in a small minority of marriages will also encounter trouble with determining the applicable jurisdiction. While a rare arrangement, a married couple who lived in two different states at the end of a marriage, probably for work-related reasons, may have to sort out where the matter ought to be adjudicated.

Serving Paperwork

Nothing moves forward until both parties have been properly served with divorce papers. It's not enough to send the paperwork to their divorce attorney. The papers have to be placed physically in their possession, and it's common for filers to hire process servers to affirm that the documents were received by the other party.

Military Membership

When a case involves one party who serves in the military, the process can take longer. Federal law allows military service members extra time to respond to filings, particularly if they are deployed overseas. You may also have to find a divorce attorney who specifically handles cases involving the military.

Contested vs. Uncontested

Unsurprisingly, uncontested divorces usually go faster. Note that you might want to pump the brakes a little bit to make sure you're not missing out on the property that you're owed and to ensure your rights will be protected. Fast isn't everything, especially when it comes to signing legally binding agreements.

Contested cases can be especially long. Add kids to the mixture, and you'll see a few cases that can take years fighting over custody, support, visitation, alimony, and property.

Case Loads

The size of your county can be a factor, too. People encounter this problem usually when they live in two types of regions. First, there are big cities and counties where it's simply overwhelming for the court system to get through everything. Secondly, there are smaller and poorer counties where the system may underserve the public.

To learn more about your divorce options, contact a firm such as Gomez May LLP.