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What is the time frame for completing a divorce?

Those who are considering ending their marriages, whether in New York or elsewhere, are likely to have millions of questions. This is completely understandable because, just as it takes a lot to build a marriage, it is only reasonable to assume that working through a divorce can also be a lot of work. One question many couples might have may involve how long it can take before a divorce is finalized.

The truth of the matter is this is something that is different for every couple. Every marriage is unique and has its own set of challenges. At the end of the day, some couples will be able to resolve issues quickly in order to complete the dissolution process, while others can remain in negotiations for extended periods of time.

When it comes to divorce, there are certain steps that are, generally, taken in every case. How long it takes to complete the following tasks will depend on the needs and circumstances of those filing. A typical chronology for divorce includes:

  • Retaining an attorney
  • Filing official petition
  • Summons sent to and answered by spouse
  • Document exchange
  • Drafting a settlement agreement
  • Litigation — if necessary
  • Court approval
  • Divorce decree granted

This is clearly a very basic breakdown as to what steps are taken in the divorce process. Again, how long it takes to complete each step will depend on one’s specific situation. For couples who can quickly agree to a settlement and have those terms approved in court, the divorce process can go rather swiftly. For those who cannot come to terms or whose proposed agreements are rejected in court, negotiations, litigation and appeals can take time. Couples in New York who are ready to end their marriages can, with the assistance of counsel, negotiate or litigate divorce settlements with which both parties can feel satisfied.

Source: FindLaw, “A Divorce Timeline”, Accessed on Aug. 19, 2015