How Long Does It Take To Get A Florida Divorce?
Whether you and your spouse have only started thinking about divorce, or you’ve already filed, you might be wondering how long you can expect the process to take. The answer will vary depending on your family’s particular circumstances. Some divorces, for instance, can be finalized in a matter of weeks, while others could take more than a year. One of the factors that could impact how long a divorce takes is the type of divorce for which a couple is filing.
The Timeline for a Simplified Divorce
A simplified divorce generally takes the least amount of time, as only couples who don’t have children and who have agreed to forego alimony qualify for this type of divorce. After submitting a petition and the necessary financial affidavits, a couple will need to wait at least 20 days, at which point, the court will hold a hearing. As long as there are no issues with the divorce agreement, then the court will usually dissolve the marriage at this hearing. As such, a simplified divorce takes around three weeks, in addition to the time it takes to prepare the petition and financial affidavits.
The Timeline for an Uncontested Divorce
Couples who don’t qualify for a simplified divorce, perhaps because they have children, but who still agree on divorce-related issues, like alimony, custody, and property division can still file for an uncontested divorce. With this type of divorce, couples must work through any disagreements before going to court, so how long it takes to get divorced will depend on their ability to negotiate and compromise. A couple could, for instance, only require a single mediation session, or could need to attend several. Even couples who only require one session must still wait 20 days between filing a petition and the hearing, so at its quickest, this type of divorce takes around three weeks. The average uncontested divorce, however, is a bit more complicated and so may take a couple of months.
The Timeline for a Contested Divorce
Of the three types of divorce in Florida, contested divorces take the most time because they require a lot of court intervention and a number of steps, including:
- Filing the petition and serving it on the other spouse;
- Waiting up to 20 days for the respondent to file an answer;
- Working through the discovery process, where each spouse has to disclose their finances, a process that must be completed within 45 days of the date of service;
- Attending mandatory mediation or parenting courses; and
- Going through trial proceedings, which can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Going through all of these steps and preparing for divorce usually takes at least five months and more contentious divorces could go on for a year or more.
Are You Planning on Divorce?
Every divorce is different, so it’s difficult to say exactly how long the process will take. After assessing your family’s circumstances we should, however, be able to give you a better idea of what you can expect going forward. For more information, contact experienced Florida divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.