Divorce is sometimes the right choice for a couple, but it can still be overwhelming. Many couples planning to get divorced are wary of the long process it involves. Luckily, there are steps you and your spouse can take to make it faster and less stressful. This can make life easier for you, your partner, and any children you have. It can also save you time and money.
Mandated Waiting Period
Some states in the Midwest have mandated waiting periods. This means that, if you file for divorce, the soonest you can finalize the process is at the end of that waiting period. In Missouri, the minimum waiting period is 30 days. In Kansas and Nebraska, the minimum waiting period is 60 days. Oklahoma’s waiting period is 10 days.
This is the least amount of time it takes to finalize a divorce, but getting a divorce this quickly requires a specific situation. Several factors can make the process last longer, including:
- Number of Marital Assets: If your marriage has a large number of assets, the process of dividing property will take much longer.
- If You and Your Spouse Have Children: Child custody and support determinations make even an amicable divorce take longer, as the court will have to ensure that any decision you and your spouse make is in your child’s interests.
- Ability to Work Together: Spouses who can compromise will have a much quicker divorce.
- Litigation or Mediation: If you and your spouse can use alternative dispute resolution, like mediation, for your marriage rather than going through court, this will expedite your divorce.
- Additional Factors: If your divorce proceedings include issues such as domestic violence, the process will be much longer and may involve criminal court. Other factors, such as substance misuse or disability, can also lengthen divorce proceedings.
Speeding Up Your Divorce
Unfortunately, many parts of a divorce are outside of your individual control, and there may not be an effective way to speed up the process. If it is possible in your situation, here are some ways to make your divorce move more quickly:
- Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce can be filed by one or both spouses. This means that both spouses have worked together on the divorce agreement and agree that they should get divorced. Spouses will submit their own separation agreement to the court. The court determines if it is fair to both parties and in the interests of their children.
Spouses may work together, or with attorney representation, to create their separation agreement. Working without an attorney is usually only advisable if there are very few marital assets and no children involved. Any disagreements the couple has that can’t be resolved will cause a contested divorce and go to trial. Even if some issues must be contested, beginning with an uncontested divorce, and agreeing on as many issues out of court as possible, significantly speeds up your divorce.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation
Alternative dispute resolutions, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, may be an effective solution that avoids the lengthy and expensive process of litigation. Mediation is overseen by one neutral third party, such as a mediation attorney or counselor, while spouses in collaborative divorces are each represented by their own attorney.
Couples will then negotiate essential aspects of their divorce, including spousal support, division of property, child custody, and child support. The mediator helps the couples find a solution to any disagreements. Mediation can take weeks or months, compared to the months or years of a litigated divorce.
- Working With a Reliable Divorce Attorney
To expedite your divorce process, it is recommended that you work with an experienced Midwest divorce attorney. An attorney can determine the right legal path forward for your divorce and your unique circumstances. They can also guide you and your spouse through mediation or collaborative divorce and ensure that a final separation agreement can be approved by the court.
Your attorney can help you file, meet essential deadlines, and gather necessary documents much more quickly. It’s essential to work with an attorney who has experience and understands your unique divorce situation. That way, you’re equipped to make informed decisions about your divorce.
Q: How Fast Can You Get Divorced?
A: The fastest possible timeline to get a divorce depends on the minimum waiting period for your state. For example, in Missouri, the waiting period is 30 days, as that is the state-required minimum waiting time between filing for a divorce and finalizing one. The goal is to prevent impulsive divorce decisions. Divorces usually take much longer than the minimum waiting period, especially if spouses disagree on how property is divided or other essential parts of separation.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce If Both Parties Agree?
A: An uncontested divorce, where both parties agree to get divorced, can take anywhere from 10 days to several months. After the minimum waiting period for your state, many divorces still take time to resolve. Spouses have to create a separation agreement that splits up property, determines spousal support, and handles child custody and support if they have kids. Any disagreement or negotiation will make this take longer and may result in the case going to court.
Q: Is There a Waiting Period for Divorce?
A: In some Midwestern states, there is a mandatory minimum number of days before the divorce can be finalized. If you and your spouse can’t create a separation agreement, it may take longer than this to finalize. Negotiations can also take longer than the waiting period, or your divorce may have to be litigated if no compromise can be made.
Q: Can You Get a Divorce Without the Other Person Signing?
A: In a contested divorce, where one spouse files for divorce and the other disagrees, the court can still grant the divorce. After the respondent spouse is served the divorce papers, they have 30 days to respond. If they disagree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the divorce process will likely take longer. The petitioner may also seek a default judgment, where the court will grant the petitioner’s request for divorce, and the conditions of the divorce, if the respondent doesn’t appear at the court date.
Stange Law Firm: Midwest Divorce Attorneys
Our skilled attorneys can help speed up your divorce proceedings and save you time and stress. Contact Stange Law Firm today.