Sometimes the hardest part of a divorce is waiting for it to be over. One frequently asked question is, "How long will a divorce take?" Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. Every case is different. A simple divorce may only take a few months, while complicated divorces can take a year or more to complete.
Elimination of Waiting Period
Throughout the end of 2015, Illinois has a waiting period for people seeking a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. However, after January 1, 2016, the waiting period will be eliminated. So long as the Illinois residency requirements are met, a divorce can happen as quickly as it takes to get all the paperwork executed and moved through the court.
How Much is There to Fight About?
The major factor that determines how long a divorce will take is how much the parties have to fight about. The more property there is and the more disagreement there is, the longer a divorce will take.
If both sides are fighting to have the children live with them primarily, child and spousal support issues, and property division, the divorce will take longer to complete.
Part of the divorce process in cases with a lot of conflict is a lengthy discovery period. This means that both sides have the chance to request documents, order depositions, and send written interrogatories to each other. The discovery process is an important tool for discovering all of the assets in a case, and for learning about each side’s fitness to be a parent. However, discovery makes divorce cases take longer.
Coming to Court With an Agreement
The sooner the two sides can come to agreement, the sooner the divorce will be over. Sometimes the existence of a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement can keep the divorce process moving smoothly. However, if one side decides to contest any agreements, those issues will have to be resolved before the divorce can become final.
During the course of a divorce case, the parties are always able to come to a settlement. Often mediation is a useful tool in forging an agreement, even when the two sides seem far apart on many issues.
Even if a complete settlement is not possible, the parties can come to a partial settlement as to specific issues. Even small agreements will speed up the process.
If you are considering filing for divorce, or you have any questions about property division, custody, or support, please consult with an experienced DuPage County family law lawyer. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today at 630-665-7676 to schedule a consultation today.