Divorce can be an adversarial, expensive and emotionally-draining process. This is why most people wish to have the process completed as soon as possible. However, most divorce cases rarely happen quickly, with some taking years to resolve. Knowing the average length of a divorce will help you prepare mentally and emotionally, making the process more bearable. So how long does a divorce take in Minnesota?
THE EXPECTED TIMELINE
There are two main types of divorce proceedings: contested and uncontested. Because no two cases are the same, some cases take longer than others. Issues that may need to be resolved include:
• Child custody and parenting
• Child support amount to be paid
• Alimony payment amounts
• Asset division and distribution
• The allocation of debts
Before filing for divorce, most couples will want to know how long the process takes. However, this question cannot be answered with certainty. The time it takes to get fully divorced will depend on your specific marital situation.
Generally, an uncontested divorce in Minnesota can take as little as four to six weeks to finalize. The process can take longer to complete when contested, and could go to trial in case the parties involved cannot come to an agreement on key issues. A divorce that goes to trial may take six months to two years from start to finish.
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE DIVORCE LENGTH
Now that you know how long it takes to get a divorce in Minnesota, you need to understand the factors that determine the length of the process. Here are a few.
Premarital and post marital agreements can go a long way in reducing the time it takes to negotiate and finalize the divorce process. These contracts cover a broad range of issues relating to property rights and assets. However, the agreements cannot settle issues that involve children. A divorce lawyer will have to go through the document to determine whether it complies with the applicable laws.
THE NUMBER AND SEVERITY OF DISAGREEMENTS
Divorce cases vary widely. When there are many complicated issues to be resolved, it can be difficult for the spouses to come to an agreement. This may make it necessary to go to court to have the outstanding issues of contention resolved. In the end, it will take a while to have the case finalized.
HOW COOPERATIVE OR COMBATIVE THE PARTIES ARE
When spouses argue with each other’s point of view or over every detail, it will be difficult to reach an equitable agreement. On the other hand, the willingness to compromise and negotiate in good faith will eliminate the need for litigation. Cooperation between you and your spouse will promote a smooth process and ensure divorce is completed faster.
VALUE OF PROPERTIES
When high-value assets are involved, there is more at stake when it comes to dividing the properties. There are also cases where a spouse hides assets, making it necessary to hire an expert to help trace them. In such situations, it will take longer to assess the value of the properties, negotiate and determine who will retain each property.
Parental responsibilities and child support payments are some of the most contentious issues during divorce negotiations. When you do not have dependent children, the divorce process could be shorter and less costly.
There are several unforeseen circumstances that can delay a divorce process. Someone can get sick or have their work schedule change, a factor that could slow down negotiations. How long it takes to complete your divorce will also depend on the number of cases the court has and how efficiently it handles them.
Working with an experienced divorce attorney will ensure your Minnesota divorce goes smoothly. At Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A., we have qualified legal experts who will help you develop great negotiating strategies and offer advice on when to compromise on what you want. Contact us today to speak to one of our experts about your legal issues.