If you’re considering a divorce, you may be wondering how long it will take. When divorces are messy and complicated, they take longer. But if you and your spouse can agree on most or all of the issues, the process can be surprisingly fast-tracked.

In fact, if you and your spouse can come to an agreement on all things, your divorce can be finalized in as little as four to six weeks.

However, if you can’t agree and your divorce is complicated, it may take years to complete. When property, children and other issues are involved, the process becomes lengthy. Divorces that go to trial will take at least a year, and probably longer.

What Affects the Length of a Divorce?

How long a divorce takes will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • How much property and assets you and your spouse own.
  • Indecision about children.
  • Whether or not spousal maintenance is being pursued.
  • The cooperation of you and your spouse. The more combative you are, the more complicated and lengthy the process becomes.

The length of the divorce process may not always be in your control. If you’re being cooperative, but your spouse is being combative, it may drag out.

It’s also important to remember that at least one of the spouses must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days before the divorce proceeding can begin. So, if you and your spouse have just moved to Minnesota, you’ll have to wait at least six months to begin the divorce process.

Reaching an Agreement is Key

The quickest divorces are between couples that can agree on all or most of the issues. Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement, the divorce Judgment and Decree can be drafted.

Once the decree is drafted, both parties and their attorneys will review and sign it. Finally, the decree will be sent to the Judge for approval.

Hearings are rare if both spouses have legal counsel. Once that agreement is signed, it marks the end of the divorce process – unless you or your spouse wish to dispute the agreement.

Once the Judge approves and signs off on the decree, the judgment will be entered. At this point, the divorce is final and both spouses will receive notice of the completion.

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