How long does the divorce process take? 30 Answers as of August 31, 2011

I need a divorce. I have no children, no debt from the marriage, & my wife will sign papers. There won't be any fighting about things. How long does the process take? How do start the process? I have little money for lawyers. We are doing it ourselves. Do we have to be separated before for a certain amount of time? Do we have to be separated after we file for a certain amount of time before it I official? Does anyone know? Please help.

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Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
The process is started by one of the parties filing a divorce lawsuit in court. The average time for an uncontested divorce is 4 to 5 months from start to finish. You do not have to be separated to start the process.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Advanced Litigation Services
Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
You can file a Joint petition. You will not even need to go to Court, and be divorced in about two weeks. You will submit the Joint petition signed and Notarized by both of you to the Court with a Decree of Divorce, and request that the judge sign the decree without a hearing
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/31/2011
Edward Papa, Esq.
Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
If you do It correctly ,and big if since you insist on doing it yourself, you can usually have a judges signature on a final divorce in 2-3 months. There are plenty of ways to go wrong. I had a fellow come to me after 2 years of back and forth with the county clerk and judges law clerk. I was able to correct and get his pleadings fixed in an hour. And the man was an educated man with a good job but trying to do it on the cheap himself. REMEMBER the old adage, you get what you pay for. If everything is as you describe, there are attorneys who advertise in the $300-$500 range to do it. MONEY WELL SPENT. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/10/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
Less than 6 months and very little money for such a "simple" case. Well worth retaining a professional to ensure you don't inadvertently end up making it longer, or worse, fail to complete the process and remain inadvertently, legally married.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/9/2011
The Law Office of Erin Farley
The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
I do not have enough information about your situation to answer completely. You may or may not qualify for a "Summary Dissolution" which streamlines the divorce process. Regardless, if you and your Wife agree about the terms, the process will be failry straightforward. You can find a lot of information at the California Courts website: Go to the self-help tab and determine whether a summary or regular dissoution fits your case. The website has the paperwork needed to file for dissolution in either form. There are also Family Law Facilitators located at your local courthouse (a family law attorney available for free help); your local court's website should provide access to their contact information. You do not have to be separated for any certain length of time, but there is a period of six months from the date of filing until the entry of judgment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    The process is relatively quick.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    If there are no minor children of the marriage, the parties must be separated for six months (180 days) before a divorce may be granted. The waiting period may be done prior to filing, or, the parties may file, separate for 180 days and file for final divorce. The process is started by filing a petition for divorce. You should be wary of trying to do this on your own, as there are many pitfalls for the uninitiated. There are many, many attorneys in Louisiana, and some will work very cheaply. You should get advice from an attorney, at a minimum, and at least have an attorney look over any paperwork you intend to file. Many form services do not cover Louisiana divorce procedure adequately.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    From date of filing/service, by statute the fastest a divorce can occur is 120 days; however, it doesn't just happen some kind of settlement agreement must be filed and testified to.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you find a divorce lawyer who will charge you a reasonable retainer. In our opinion, this is not a "do it yourselfer" and you could overlook some important matters which could easily have been addressed by a reasonably priced lawyer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    From the sound of things a dissolution would be better. Discuss the alternatives with a domestic relations lawyer near you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Your marriage can be terminated 6 months after the date the petition was served on the respondent. Contact the family law court facilitator in your county to get the help you need on the paperwork once you get a divorce packet from the clerks office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In order to file for divorce, you have to have been living in a bonafide state of separation prior to filing for divorce (this can be as short as a day). If the divorce is uncontested and based on irreconcilable differences, you have to wait 31 days after your spouse either is served with the divorce complaint or acknowledges service of the complaint before the divorce can be granted.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Depends on how backed-up the court is. Six to Twelve months would be an estimate. Doing it yourself may take more time in redoing it to get it right. There are many attorneys who charge low fees where both parties are in agreement and there is very little marital assets. Shop around. Living separate prior to filing is best but not necessary but after marriage it could cause problems under the common law marriage laws. In either case it does not affect how long it takes to get the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    As long as both of you want to pursue an Uncontested Divorce (recommended to save time and money), you would start the process by hiring an attorney to draft a Separation Agreement for the two of you to sign (notarized). You must file the signed Separation Agreement along with a Petition for Divorce, Affidavit, Etc. in your county's Probate and Family Court. You should get a hearing date within about 3-4 months, depending on your particular court's calender. Shortly after the hearing, you will be issued a "Judgment of Divorce Nisi." There is a 90-day waiting period from the date of the Judgment Nisi for your Divorce to become final. You do not have to be living separately as long as you are not "living as husband and wife." The courts are sympathetic to the economic/housing crisis these days. I have had several divorce clients who simply could not afford a separate residence until well after the divorce became final. This is completely okay so long as there is no fighting and you can get along as roommates. If you are interested in affordable assistance with your divorce, please feel free to give me a call. You may even qualify to have the court's filing fee waived.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    In California, it is at least six months before you can finalize a divorce case. You can go to your local court to get information regarding how to start the process, forms you need, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    The quickest avenue requires that both spouses be willing to sign a waiver stating that they have been living 'separate and apart' for at least 6 months. There is case law which suggests that this requirement does not mean that each person has had a separate residence for the last 6 months, however. So, one of you will need to file a petition for divorce and some time after that the other party will need to file an appearance (forms can be found at the court clerk's office), then, you will need to draw up how you want your property (if any) divided. Bring that along with a divorce judgment and the 6 month waiver to court and tell the clerk you would like to schedule a 'prove up'. Depending on the court's schedule, it could take anywhere from 30-60 days from the time you file.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    There are no time limits or requirements concerning separation. The soonest a court can enter a decree of dissolution is 90 days after service of the petition. For it happen that fast, a complete written agreement indicating what you and your spouse have agreed to must be filed along with an Affidavit for Entry of Decree without Appearance of the parties and Sworn Financial Statements by each of you. You should consult the Colo Supreme Court Self Help library of forms and instructions.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You don't have to be separated. You can do the paperwork yourself. Search Washington Court Forms. The court can't sign the final documents until 91 days after you file.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    6 months & 1 day from when she is served with divorce papers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, do NOT do it pro se. It will usually make it take longer, and, if you make mistakes those could be costly. A divorce can be filed the second you separate. The time period depends on the county but can be as little as 31 days if a proper consent is drafted. In some counties it is faster with a lawyer, and in some counties you can even skip a hearing if your lawyer files a motion. It's very inexpensive (for example I charge as little as $99 in some counties and that is less than the court costs).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    I read no less than 4 questions in this request for legal information. Per the law, it takes no less than 6 months to get divorced. Why? Because there is what is called a cooling-off period. As to the costs-no one could estimate that for you because such expenses are akin to a wedding-too many factors affecting the bottom line. If financial issues are preventing you for hiring attorney, know that many attorneys, such as myself, provide 3 levels of services: 1) full scope representation-where the attorney prepares all the paperwork and fully represents you from beginning to end of case; 2) limited scope representation-where the attorney coaches you and YOU represent yourself. In this scenario, the attorney answers any and all of your questions related to facts of case, law, and preparation of documents; 3) document preparation only-documents properly prepared by an attorney-to ensure they are filled out correctly. A fourth option is to buy a good book on the subject for under $30.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    There is a statutory waiting period of 60 days between the time the Respondent is "served" with the papers and the time the final agreement can be submitted to the court for signatures, but there is no specific period of time that you have to be separated before filing.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    If a case is a Consent Divorce with 2 mature reasonable spouses and no Custody or Property issues, then I charge a flat fee of only $900. Such a case only takes between 90-110 days from start to finish.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    90 days from the date of filing/service. You start the process by filing a petition for dissolution and other required legal forms. Some counties have court facilitators to assist with the paperwork. There is no separation requirement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You do not have to be separated to file, nor do you have to separate after you file. After the initial paperwork has been filed, you both have to wait 90 days. After the 90 days are up, if you still agree on all issues, you can get an agreed set of final papers entered. There is a good bit more to it, but that is the basics.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/8/2011
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