How Long does Divorce Take in Florida?
When a couple is going through a divorce, they typically want it finalized as quickly as possible. Florida divorce attorneys are regularly asked how long the divorce process takes. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. Every case is unique and presents different challenges and situations. How long a divorce will take depends on many factors. Two of the main factors are whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, and how complex certain issues are, such as division of property. Generally speaking, most divorce cases take between three months and two years.
Uncontested divorces are the least complex and easiest of all divorce cases. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on every single aspect of the divorce. However, they must agree on all terms. If the two parties have a dispute on even one of the terms in the divorce, such as child custody, it becomes a contested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both sides are also typically very cooperative.
Uncontested divorce cases are in the minority, as couples typically tend to disagree on at least one issue in most divorces. That being said, these cases take typically three weeks to prepare, and a divorce attorney can file them instantly. Still, couples must wait approximately three months to get a hearing. At the hearing, a judge will finalize the terms of the divorce and the couple will be declared officially divorced. This process in total, takes approximately four months.
Contested divorces take much longer before they are finalized. They typically take about 12 months before the process is complete. When a divorce is lightly contested, meaning there are few disagreements that can be easily overcome, a contested divorce will take approximately four months to one year before they are finalized. When the divorce is heavily contested, meaning there are many disagreements that are difficult to overcome, a contested divorce can take as long as two years before it is finalized.
There is good news, though, for those going through an uncontested divorce. In Florida, all contested divorces are required to go through mediation before litigation. The point of mediation is to get the couple to come to a settlement agreement before going to litigation. A mediator facilitates discussions and tries to get each spouse to compromise and come to a decision that is agreeable to both of them. Most divorce cases do settle during mediation. When this is the case, the divorce can be finalized in five to eight months.
Need Help with Your Divorce? Call Our Florida Divorce Attorneys
Going through a divorce is a stressful experience. It’s not surprising that those going through it want it to be over as quickly as possible. One way to ensure a divorce will proceed more quickly is to work with a Tampa divorce attorney. At All Family Law Group, PA, we can negotiate effectively with the other side to ensure your divorce proceeds as swiftly as possible. Call us today at (813) 672-1900 for your free consultation so we can review your case and answer any other questions you may have.