You are probably looking forward to a fresh start as soon as your divorce is settled but are unsure how long the entire process will last. However, the answer to your question is not so straightforward or definite.
While some divorce proceedings conclude in several months, others drag on, possibly for years. Several factors could affect the duration of your divorce, as discussed below.
Is your divorce contested or uncontested?
Generally, an uncontested divorce takes a shorter time to finalize. When you and your spouse can agree on pertinent issues like child custody, support, alimony and property division, there won’t be a lot of back and forth.
Still, you will have to go through court to formalize your agreement. How soon that will happen depends on the current backlog. Both spouses must attend the court hearings for review of the separation agreement. You must also wait 90 days for the court’s judgment to be final, and you cannot remarry before 120 days have elapsed.
On the other hand, there is no easy way of telling how long a contested divorce will take. The court will review several aspects of each spouse’s life before making any orders affecting the divorce, which can take considerable time. A recent standing order estimates the length of a contested divorce as 14 months, although it may take longer depending on the prevailing circumstances.
Understand how a Massachusetts divorce works
Learning more about how things work and what to expect along the way will help you respond to any challenges that could arise. It may also help you choose the best method of handling your divorce. Most importantly, you will know your rights and what you deserve as a fair settlement in your divorce. It’s just what you need to transition into your next life.