How Long Can a Divorce Take?
Exactly how long a divorce takes depends on many factors, including the jurisdiction and whether one or both parties contest the divorce terms. Generally, most divorces are finalized in a year.
An experienced divorce attorney can help to expedite the divorce process by ensuring paperwork is completed and filed properly. Your attorney also can help to ensure your spouse is served with the divorce papers to start the process.
Determine the Correct Jurisdiction For Your Divorce
The divorce process cannot begin until you file for divorce in the correct jurisdiction. Filing for a divorce in the wrong state’s jurisdiction could delay your divorce proceedings.
Filing a divorce in New Jersey requires either you or your spouse to have been a resident of the state for at least a year. Otherwise, you must file in a state in which residency had been established prior to moving to New Jersey.
New Jersey Superior Courts handle divorce cases in the state. If you or your spouse established residency for at least one year, you can file for divorce in the county in which you live or in which your spouse lives, if it is different.
Divorce Filings Are Subject to Response Times
New Jersey law requires the filing spouse to wait for a response from the other spouse before divorce proceedings begin. The maximum response times vary depending on where your spouse currently lives.
When one spouse files for divorce in a New Jersey superior court, the response time allowed for the receiving spouse is:
- 30 days when residing in New Jersey
- 60 days when residing in another state
- 90 days when residing overseas
Sometimes, a spouse does not respond within the allotted timeframe. That will not delay the divorce proceedings. You will need to show evidence that your spouse was served with the divorce papers to continue.
Prenuptial Agreements Greatly Expedite the Process
A prenuptial agreement that both parties signed and that has the weight of law helps to make it much easier and faster to finalize your divorce. A prenuptial could address most of the important aspects of a divorce in advance and make finalizing one a much simpler and faster process.
One or both spouses could challenge the provisions of a prenuptial, but the agreement generally is a legally enforceable contract. Unless something significant were to affect its legitimacy, a prenuptial should greatly accelerate the process to end a lawful marriage.
Contested Divorces Take Longer Than Uncontested Ones
Divorces generally are highly stressful and often involve emotionally charged claims made by one or both parties. Claims of adultery, substance abuse, or other unpleasant factors often increase the time that it takes to complete a divorce.
A marriage that produces children typically requires a custody agreement and child support. Spousal support also might be among items of contention that make your divorce last a while longer.
The court also would need to address the division of marital assets and other matters that commonly complicate the divorce process. An experienced divorce attorney should be able to help you minimize the time it takes to conclude a divorce while enabling you to present the strongest case on your behalf.
Get Help From the Marlton Divorce Attorneys at Goldstein & Mignogna
The experienced Marlton divorce attorneys at Goldstein & Mignogna, P.A., can help you to file valid claims in your pending divorce. You can call 856-600-6901 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our law office in Marlton, New Jersey. We represent clients in South Jersey in Marlton, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and statewide.