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What makes a divorce take longer than usual?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Divorce

Most of the time, people are interested in having a divorce finalized as quickly as possible. By the time they’ve decided to file for divorce, they just want to put the process behind them. They know that it’s not an instantaneous process, but they hope it can progress as quickly as possible.

The reality is that every divorce case is unique, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to the question of how long any particular couple’s divorce will take. The following are some of the most common challenges that could make a divorce take longer than average?

The involvement of children

A divorce case involving children will often take longer than one without. This is just because there are a lot more details to sort out as parents consider things like decision-making power and parenting time. The ins and outs of a child’s situation are also common sources of conflict between parents. They may not agree on how a child custody arrangement should be written up, for example. These disagreements and discussions can make divorce take far longer than it ordinarily might.

A contested divorce

A contested divorce is almost always going to be much longer than an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both people are willing to agree to work out many of the details in advance, and the court generally just approves the paperwork. But if there are disagreements over the details, then the court has to help resolve them, and this means many more hearings, court appearances and things of this nature.

Difficult financial situations

Some couples have very complex finances. Maybe they are business owners who have to decide what to do with a company. Perhaps they have extensive retirement funds or overseas investments that need to be addressed. Maybe one spouse is trying to hide assets, making the whole process take longer because the other spouse has to work to discover them. The more complex the divorce, the longer it is going to take.

Taking next steps

If you are divorcing and hope to resolve your situation as soon as possible, it is generally advisable to seek legal guidance proactively, as a professional can assess your unique circumstances and better determine how to speed up the process without sacrificing your rights or important interests.