In most cases, the shortest and most cost-effective way to finalize a divorce is to enter into an uncontested divorce with a signed separation agreement. In an uncontested divorce, all matters that could delay proceedings, including spousal support, child support, child custody, and visitation, have been settled, allowing for a separation agreement to be drafted and signed.
In these types of proceedings, it is possible to finalize a divorce in as little as 6 months, if there are no young children involved, and as little as a year if there are young children involved. In some cases, an uncontested divorce will allow both parties to avoid going to court altogether.
In a contested divorce, both spouses are unable to come to an agreement on pertinent matters, which means that a court would need to make a ruling on those matters on their behalf in a trial. Before a contested divorce trial can begin, there are many discovery issues which need to be resolved, including interrogatories, requests for reduction of documents, requests for admissions, requests for depositions, as well as a pre-trial conference, a judicial settlement conference, and any number of additional hearings.
In a best-case scenario, a contested divorce may be finalized in as little as a year. More realistically, however, a contested divorce is likely to take over 2 years to resolve.
While securing a divorce can be a trying and difficult process, fighting over every detail in a divorce case is only likely to lead to a long, expensive court battle. For a divorce lawyer that understands this is a difficult time, and will always provide you with honest answers about whether it is best to pursue an uncontested or a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller today.