How long does it take a judge to sign a divorce decree? 9 Answers as of March 14, 2013

Both my spouse and I signed our divorce agreement in November of 2012. Once signed, my lawyer sent the paperwork to the courts in order for the judge to sign so I can be officially divorced. It is now March 2013 and I have yet to receive my divorce decree. Whenever I contact my lawyer, he just tells me that he hasn't heard anything yet and he will let me know once he does. How long does it take for a judge to sign a divorce decree especially if you have a lawyer?

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John Russo | John Russo
What did you have a real estate attorney? All jurisdictions are a little different in how they handle this, also they are different on how long you must wait for the final to enter. Almost all states have a waiting period, but your state could be something like mine, here in RI after the hearing on the merits the day the divorce is put through the earliest we can enter the final in a normal divorce is on the 91st day following the hearing. Also if you fail to enter within a 30 day window after the 91st day then it is considered out of time and it can only now be entered by agreement of the parties, by stip. So you have a hearing, 30 days after the hearing we enter what is called decision pending entry of final judgement, this has everything the final will have so it is a form of interim order, so if there are any issues before the final enters the court will look to the interlocutory order, same thing with this it can enter on day 31, but if not entered by day 61 then you need a stip. Also. Now after the interlocutory enters you wait to enter file, like I said above earliest is 91 days, latest is 101 days, so you are looking at 3 to 4 months before final can enter, I know there are states that require 6 month waiting so you need to check the rules of procedure for domestic relations in your state. If 6 months then you have not reached that yet, if 3 months you are past. Another thing I rarely mail in finals to be signed I bring to court and right to the judge, I am their everyday anyway, that way I get them signed and have copies made that are certified. And what I meant by normal divorce was that here you can use as a reason for the divorce that the parties have lived separate and apart for a period in excess of 3 years, if that is the case the final may enter on the 31st day after the hearing on the merits, cuts way down on the time.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 3/14/2013
Coulter's Law
Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
It is especially a problem in NY. Call the Court yourself and speak to the judge's secretary. Not the judge. His secretary. Butter him/her up. Flattery gets you everywhere.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 3/14/2013
Kevin H Pate
Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
Do not know where you are and thus do not know the Court. 3-4 months seems beyond an exceptionally long time, greatly exceeding any time period I have ever experienced.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 3/14/2013
McGuire Law Offices | John Smitten
Some judges move in and out of new judicial assignments, however your order should have been entered by now.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/14/2013
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
That seems like a very long time. This depends on the law of the State you live in. Before you do anything, talk to your divorce lawyer. And do that soon. Get an answer from him.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 3/14/2013
    Richard Dwyer, APC
    Richard Dwyer, APC | Richard Dwyer
    It should not take this long. You need to instruct your lawyer to follow up with the Family Court. At a minimum, you should confirm with the Family Law Court Clerk that the judgement has been submitted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    This is overdue, generally a stipped to order is signing on the day or a few days following it's being filed with the Court. I would have it looked into.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2013
    LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
    The courts are broke, in San Diego they've laid off 27% of the staff but the number of cases hasn't gone down. You and everyone else are just having to wait. It is taking months to get hearings and clerks on the judgment desks have been cut or given extra duties. The system is broken thanks to the State budget cuts and the courts are barely managing to get by. This is where the public feels the cuts, generally the rest of their lives are not impacted. So be patient - you have no other choice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    If uncontested and you have been separated 6 months, not long.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/14/2013
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