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How do I know how long my divorce negotiations will take?


Making the decision to divorce can be challenging. Once you have made that difficult decision, you may not know what to expect. There are many divorce negotiations to resolve including property division, spousal support, child support and child custody concerns. The divorce process can be complicated, but if you know how it works, it may help you to be potentially less anxious about the process. The process can be different each time but a general idea of what to expect can be useful.

The divorce process begins with a petition for divorce. The petition will state why the filing party wants to divorce and their proposal for the divorce settlement and how concerns such as property division, spousal support, child support and child custody should be resolved. The petition, or complaint for divorce, is then served on the other spouse with a summons. The other spouse then can respond to the divorce petition with an answer. If they do not, they have agreed to the statements in the petition.

Next the couple exchanges information and documents related to property and income to help them resolve property division and child support concerns. The couple can then resolve divorce-related issues through a settlement agreement which can include divorce negotiations or mediation. If the court approves the settlement agreement, the judge will issue a divorce decree. If the couple is unable to agree, the divorce can then proceed to litigation in court and the judge can decide divorce-related issues and grant the divorce.

Overall, the length of the divorce depends on a number of factors and can last from months to years. Much of the time a divorce takes depends on how much spouses are able to work together, negotiate and avoid costly and time-consuming disputes.

Source: FindLaw, "A Divorce Timeline," accessed Dec. 25, 2016

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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