Divorce is a notoriously stressful and time-consuming process. Thankfully, there are some ways a divorcing couple could potentially expedite their divorce proceedings to end their marital contract as quickly as possible. Ending a marriage quickly is not always the best approach to such a life change, but in some cases, a swift divorce is in both spouses’ best interests.
Typically, divorce requires a waiting period. Most states uphold a mandatory waiting period that a divorcing couple must complete before a divorce is granted. The purpose of this waiting period is typically to provide the divorcing couple one last opportunity to reconcile. However, generally, the waiting period simply feels like a burden to the divorcing spouses. If you have filed for divorce in the Midwest and have been notified of a waiting period that seems too long for your situation, call our office. An experienced Midwest family law attorney can help you determine if there are any options available that would expedite your divorce proceedings.
The divorce laws in effect in any state exist to ensure fairness when it comes to resolving property division, custody, and support disputes in a divorce. Typically, the longer a marriage lasted, the more complicated the divorce process is likely to be. In some states, summary dissolution laws can provide a means for an expedited divorce when the divorcing couple meets several criteria. The summary dissolution process exists to prevent very simple, straightforward divorces with minimal need for court intervention from consuming too many court resources.
Summary dissolution is only available to couples who have been married for a short time. State law will dictate additional criteria the couple must meet. For example, state law may require a married couple to be married for less than 180 days to qualify for summary dissolution. Most states that allow for summary dissolution only do so for childless married couples. Typically, the divorcing couple must also prove that they have minimal, if any, shared finances.
What to Expect in Summary Dissolution
If you believe you and your spouse would qualify for a summary dissolution, talk with our firm. You will likely still need to wait for the full state-mandated waiting period, but your summary dissolution will mean you do not need to appear in court. Generally, you also have the added benefit of starting your new single life as soon as you file your paperwork. Your attorney can help you gather the documentation necessary to qualify for summary dissolution and keep you informed of your case’s proceedings.
While it may seem like summary dissolution still takes a long time, the reality is that divorce litigation will take much longer. Divorce negotiation is really only necessary when a divorcing couple has significant assets that they must divide per state law. If both spouses agree to the divorce, summary dissolution ensures they do not need to wait any longer than the mandatory waiting period. This can mean obtaining a divorce decree weeks, months, or even years sooner than conventional divorce proceedings might allow.
Another option for securing a divorce as fast as possible is through an emergency divorce. This option is only available to individuals who require immediate physical protection from their spouse and/or immediate financial support due to child abuse, domestic violence, or other criminal activity perpetrated by their spouse.
To qualify for an emergency divorce, you must either file the emergency divorce paperwork with your divorce petition or file it with the court as a motion after filing for divorce. Your emergency divorce request must include your reasoning for the request as well as any evidence and documentation to prove the extent of your emergency situation. Once you have filed for an emergency divorce, the court will typically allow for a 21-day waiting period before a formal hearing, during which your spouse has the opportunity to answer your divorce petition.
In some states, this hearing can quickly escalate to the full divorce hearing. The judge will have the authority to immediately issue a divorce ruling if the emergency petitioner can provide convincing evidence their situation warrants an emergency divorce.
If you and your spouse do not qualify for summary dissolution and there is no abuse or foul play involved in your divorce, you may still be able to expedite your divorce. This step depends on how well the two of you can collaborate. In an uncontested or collaborative divorce, the divorcing spouses are in mutual agreement about all aspects of their divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, the divorcing couple provides their own divorce agreement to the court. Perhaps they have simplified individual assets and minimal shared properties, or perhaps they mediated the terms of their divorce with legal representation. Many divorces begin as contested divorces until they eventually reach mutually uncontested conclusions but entering divorce proceedings as an uncontested divorce dramatically speeds up divorce proceedings in most Midwestern states.
If you and your spouse begin the divorce process while in agreement about child custody, property division, and control over marital assets, an uncontested divorce may only take as long as your state’s mandatory waiting period. You may only need to litigate certain aspects of your divorce. The bottom line is that the more you and your soon-to-be-ex can agree upon, the faster your divorce will proceed.
Choose Reliable and Experienced Legal Counsel
No matter what type of divorce you are facing, it is essential to have the right legal representation handling your case if you want a positive outcome. The right Midwest divorce attorney can help speed up your divorce by providing valuable insights, managing court filing deadlines, and generally streamlining the entire divorce process on your behalf. Your attorney will not only assist you in identifying opportunities to expedite your divorce, but also handle the filing procedures and other administrative requirements for your case.
The right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of any divorce case. Whether you qualify for a summary dissolution, an emergency divorce, or simply want to expedite an uncontested divorce in the Midwest, an experienced divorce attorney can help you streamline your divorce proceedings.