How Long Will My Divorce Take?

One of the most frequently asked questions by those approaching divorce is, “how long will the process take?” Of course, each case is unique. It is very difficult to pinpoint the exact length of time your divorce might take to finalize, as there are many factors at play. Some of those factors include the following:

  • The approach you’re taking to your divorce (mediation/negotiation, collaborative, formal litigation)
  • Whether you meet residency requirements for divorce in New York
  • Your marital estate and the assets that must be divided
  • Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested
  • The grounds for your divorce (no-fault? Fault-based? Divorcing following legal separation?)
  • Contentious issues and the willingness of you and your spouse to cooperate
  • The existence of a prenuptial agreement
  • Whether or not children are involved

In general, an uncontested divorce takes less time than a contested divorce, mediation and collaboration take less time than formal litigation and willingness to cooperate makes a huge difference. A prenuptial agreement can make a divorce go more quickly or take even longer, depending on whether there is a challenge to its validity or a dispute over its terms.

In a worst-case scenario, a contested divorce with many complicated legal and emotional issues could take anywhere from several months to several years if it goes to trial in Long Island or elsewhere in New York.

In a best case scenario, a mediated divorce with very few issues over marital property division and no children to arrange care and financial support for could take as little as one session to settle.

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