How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?

The mandatory waiting period, which is hard to waive, is 90 days. I like to think of the answer to this question as a simple equation, based on certain variables. The amount of time it takes from filing divorce papers to getting that final divorce decree depends on factors such as 1) contested vs. uncontested divorce; 2) the cooperation of the parties; 3) whether children are involved; 4) the divorce attorney that is hired by you; 5) the divorce attorney that is hired by your spouse; 6) the ability of the mediator, if needed; and 7) your own willingness to quickly provide the divorce attorney with documents/information that he/she requests. There are other factors that can play a role, but these are common to most divorces.

In most cases, the soonest a divorce to be granted is 90 days. Utah law imposes a 90-day waiting period in order to get a divorce. In some cases, that waiting period can be waived. Uncontested divorces should almost never take more than 90 days from filing. In a contested divorce where parties are willing to cooperate, an effective attorney in Salt Lake City should be able to get results in that 90-day window.

The involvement of children can cause the proceeding to move much faster or slower, depending on the circumstances. For example, if parents can agree on the best interest and custody of their children, the parents can take a Divorce Education Class and get that 90-day waiting period waived. This minimizes the negative impact of a divorce on children.

The divorce attorney that either party decides to hire can be a large factor. Some attorneys like to play the game of delay in order to hold up the other party (a game we despise). They will keep asking to put off certain checkpoints in the divorce. Some divorce attorneys work very hard to get that divorce decree as efficiently as possible. When you have the initial consultation with your potential lawyer, ask him/her what he/she does to expedite the divorce process.

The mediator’s job is to close the gap between the parties. The mediator will try to get each party to come closer to the other party’s offer until there is an agreement. A good mediator should be able to help reasonable parties reach an agreement.

Last, throughout the divorce, your attorney will ask for certain documents and need questions answered. Some clients take time to locate those documents or call back the attorney. Fast communication by both lawyer and client should be a top priority in order to reach that divorce decree as soon as possible.

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