From filing to finalization: How long does divorce take?

The decision to dissolve your marriage is one that you probably took some time to reach. Now that you have, you just want to get the divorce over with as soon as possible. How long, from filing to finalization, does the divorce process take in the state of Washington?

How long your divorce takes depends on several factors. Do you have children? Are there questions about how assets should be divided? Do you want to work things out privately, use an alternative dispute resolution method or do you want to go to court? In other words, how long it takes all comes down to the details of your specific case.

The state of Washington enforces a cooling off period of sorts. Divorce petitions will not be approved until 90 days have passed following the filing of a divorce petition. This gives a couple time to make sure dissolving the marriage is the right thing to do. If a couple is able to come to agreeable terms during the 90-day window, on day 91 it is possible for the dissolution request to be accepted and the marriage officially ended.

If you and your spouse cannot reach terms before the 90-day window is up, either through private negotiations or mediation, you can either continue negotiating settlement terms or you can set a trial date to address the matter in court. The court schedule is usually booked months out — usually five to seven months. If you have children, it can take even longer to schedule a court appointment. Depending on the issues that need resolving, it can take months or even years to finalize a divorce if it goes to trial. Mediation may take less time if you choose to go that route.

It takes time to build a marriage, it is only right that it takes time to dismantle it. Depending on how you and your spouse are willing to approach the divorce process, it can either be a messy affair or it can be completed quickly and with little drama. An experienced Washington-based family law attorney can help you dissolve your marriage swiftly and fairly so that you can move on with your life. To learn more, please visit our firm’s website.

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