Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia

Breaking bonds: How long does it really take to get a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Divorce

The decision to move forward with a divorce is not one to take lightly. It is more than just the end of a romantic partnership. A divorce is a legal process that requires the parties meet certain requirements before finalizing the process.

But how long does this legal process take? Although the exact answer differs for each divorce, the following information can help you get a better idea of the potential timeframe for your situation.

What factors most often impact the divorce timeline?

The time it takes to finalize a divorce varies widely. Several factors can influence this timeline, including:

  • State laws: Each state has unique requirements, including residency prerequisites and mandatory waiting periods. Review the requirements in your state. In West Virginia, for example, courts generally require that even the most amicable of divorces wait at least 220 days from filing to scheduling their final divorce hearing.
  • Type of divorce: Uncontested divorces where parties agree on terms can resolve quickly. Contested divorces may take longer due to negotiations or trials.
  • Complexity of assets: High asset divorces or those with complex financial situations may require additional time for proper division. This is particularly true for those with business interests.
  • Child custody: If children are involved, agreeing on custody arrangements can extend the process.

The time it takes to obtain a divorce can vary from one couple to another. Couples should prepare for a process that may take anywhere from a few months to several years.

Can I speed things along?

There are steps that will help reduce the time it takes to finalize the divorce. This can include taking the time to organize paperwork related to assets and debts as well as putting together a parenting plan if children are present.

Legal counsel can help navigate the intricacies of state laws and expedite the divorce process. Understanding these factors can help manage expectations and guide couples through this challenging time.