Couples getting divorced want to try to put their past behind them and start a new life. The start of that new life can be when the divorce is finalized. If there are no problems, a Virginia divorce may take from at least three months from the time the divorce complaint is filed until it’s granted, if there aren’t a lot of disputed issues or the couple has no children and few assets. If there are contested issues (spousal support, child support, child custody, splitting up of assets), a divorce could take much longer, potentially more than a year after there are grounds for divorce.
The legal process is out of your hands, but there are some things you can do to shorten how much time it takes to finalize a divorce.
Provide your attorney with as much information and documentation as possible, as soon as possible. A lot of the time can be spent collecting documents, getting information and determining your assets and debts so how they’ll be divided can be determined.
If you have children and there are disputes concerning child custody and visitation, there may be outside professionals involved to evaluate your children and each parent’s relationship with the children. It will take time to do their investigations. If these issues can’t be resolved, more time will be needed.
The more angry and divided the spouses, the more disputes there are, the longer the divorce process will take. The more the parties can agree on issues the less time will be spent disputing and resolving them. The more problems there are that need involvement by a judge, the more appearances need to be scheduled and the time (and cost) go up. Courthouses are busy places. They’ve generally overwhelmed with the number of cases and under-resourced. If you’re used to fast food, overnight deliveries and quick responses, this is a different world.
We have handled hundreds of divorce cases over the years. We’ve seen and represented all kinds of couples, their situations and problems. Our clients hire us not just to file legal papers and make appearances, but to provide them legal counsel. An effective way to shorten the time it takes to finalize the divorce is to listen to your attorney, provide the documents necessary in a timely basis and be open to and reasonable with settlement negotiations.
The longer and more emotional the fight the fewer assets there will be to share. Using children as pawns to inflict pain on your spouse won’t make the process faster, easier or benefit you or your children.
Speed and efficiency are good things. But you shouldn’t force a speedy process at the cost of resolving important, bona fide issues that genuinely divide the two of you. As much as you want to move forward with your life back you also don’t want to live with a rushed agreement on child custody, spousal support or asset division that will impact you for years to come. If something is truly important to you, it’s better to resolve the issue before the divorce is final.
For an Arlington, Virginia, divorce attorney who has the knowledge and training to help you through a divorce, contact ShounBach today. If your case calls for an aggressive litigator, we have attorneys with extensive courtroom experience who can provide you with vigorous representation and defense. We also have skilled Collaborative attorneys and mediators who can help you achieve a cooperative resolution. If you have questions about the divorce process and applicable laws, call us at 703-222-3333 or fill out our online contact form today.