When spouses decide to end their marriage, it is an emotional and often painful choice and process that individuals do not want to draw out.
This is understandable. Both spouses want to move on and put the pain behind them as soon as possible. That is why one of the most common questions individuals have when pursuing a divorce is how long it will take to obtain and finalize the divorce.
There is no clear answer to that question
While Maryland law does outline the general process spouses must follow to end their marriage, there is no formula. The process will be different for every couple.
On average, a divorce might take several months to resolve once the spouses have been living separately for 12 months – at least in a no-fault divorce.
What factors can influence the duration of a divorce?
On top of the separation period, there are many other variables that can impact how long a divorce might take, including:
- Contested v. uncontested: An uncontested divorce is often resolved through mediation or another out-of-court strategy. However, if one spouse contests the divorce, they might have to resolve matters in court. This can take anywhere between six and 12 months, even after the separation period.
- Disputes: Naturally, the process of a divorce can also take longer if spouses disagree on certain matters, including child custody and the division of certain assets.
- High-asset property division: Regardless of whether or not spouses contest the divorce, finalizing it can still take some time if there are many marital assets to divide. This process can be longer if spouses have many complex assets as well, including real estate properties, retirement assets and stock investments.
It is critical for spouses to be aware of these factors that could draw out the divorce process. While it is important not to rush through the proceedings, there are ways to mitigate these factors and prevent them from prolonging the divorce.