When divorce is inevitable, most couples want to get through the legal process as quickly as possible. Going in with a game plan can expedite the proceedings, but points of contention can extend the process greatly.
Depending on your situation, a divorce can take anywhere between a few months and several years to finalize.
Uncontested and no-fault divorces
Uncontested and no-fault divorces require you and your spouse to mutually dissolve the divorce without blaming one or the other. This is the fastest type of divorce to get through because you might not even need to go to court. Before you can even file for divorce, you must live separately from your spouse for at least one year. Then, it could take between 90 days and six months on average to finalize everything.
The length of a fault divorce averages between six months and a year, but it depends on how you or your spouse build your case. In a fault divorce, one spouse must provide evidence that proves fault. According to Pennsylvania law, the innocent spouse can establish fault if their spouse has cheated, endangered their life, has been in prison for at least two years, is already married or has deserted for at least one year.
Couples can undergo contested divorces if there are disputes about child custody, asset distribution, court scheduling or other miscellaneous conflicts. One spouse could slow down the process by being unwilling to participate. Getting through a contested divorce could take between 6 months and several years.
To make your divorce as smooth as possible, try to find common ground between you and your spouse. Less contention means less time spent in court.