Going through a divorce can be a very emotional time in a person’s life, therefore, many people want to know what they should expect before initiating the divorce proceedings. One of the questions often posed by people considering initiating a divorce proceeding is, ‘how long does it take to get a divorce?’. If you are seeking a divorce in the state of New York, the length of time which it will take from the time the divorce proceedings are initiated until a final Judgment of Divorce is issued can vary depending on several factors.
One of the most significant factors which determines how long a divorce proceeding may take is whether it is an uncontested or a contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is one where all of the terms of the divorce are agreed upon by you and your spouse, and it does not require going to court. An uncontested divorce usually takes anywhere from two to six months from the time the papers necessary to obtain a divorce are submitted to the Court, depending on the County in which you are obtaining the divorce.
Contested divorces can take significantly longer than uncontested divorces. In fact, contested divorces can take several years, depending on the issues involved and their complexity. A contested divorce is one where one or both spouses disagree as to equitable distribution of marital assets and debts, spousal maintenance, custody, child support and attorney’s fees. The matters in question in a contested divorce are resolved either by settlement or at a trial.
Assuming your divorce is “contested” and Court intervention is necessary, the Court will initially direct the parties to appear with their respective attorneys at a Preliminary Conference to advise the Court of the issues that have been resolved as well as the issues that remain in dispute. Depending on the nature of the issues that remain unresolved, the Court will set a schedule for financial disclosure, depositions, and appoint experts, if appropriate. The Court will set a discovery schedule which may range from 4 months to almost a year. To find out how long your divorce will take call Michael A Cohen at 516-280-6806.
It is important to note that as of October, 2010, the State of New York began to accept no-fault divorce filings along with the previous fault standard for divorce filings. This made it significantly easier to obtain a “No Fault” divorce, even if your spouse does not want a divorce. All that is required to obtain a “No Fault” divorce is for one party to allege that the marriage suffered an irretrievable breakdown and has been irretrievably broken for six months or more prior to filing for a divorce.