The amount of time the divorce process takes depends mainly on how complicated your case is. Simple divorce cases can take a few months or even less, but a divorce with complex financial, property, or custody issues usually takes far longer. Usually, your divorce will be final shortly after you and your spouse reach an agreement – or after a judge makes the decisions for you.
One way to makes things go more quickly is to cooperate with your spouse, in order to avoid the wasteful conflicts that lead to lengthy court battles. If you and your spouse (and your respective lawyers) can create an agreement that works for both of you, you will save a significant amount of time and money. However, keep in mind that this might require both you and your spouse to make compromises on some issues. Ask yourself whether it’s really worth the time and money to take your spouse to court over certain issues between you. If you’re determined to “win” against your spouse in every aspect of your divorce, then get ready for a long, costly, drawn-out fight in court. But the more you’re willing to work constructively with your spouse, the faster and easier your divorce will be.
Whether you’re litigating or settling, you can also help your divorce along by preparation and by cooperating with your lawyer. You can avoid unnecessary delays by providing documents and information that your lawyer needs right away and responding immediately to his or her requests. Also make sure that your lawyer prepares you well: get the legal advice you need right at the outset, to prevent you from acting in ways that might result in legal delays or costs. If you have time, it’s also a good idea to educate yourself on divorce law in your state. The better informed both you and your lawyer are, the better prepared you both will be – and the smoother your divorce case will go.
Brahm Siegel is a partner in the law firm of Nathens, Siegel LLP, a Toronto law firm restricted to family law matters. Brahm has experience in all aspects of divorce and family law and devotes much of his time to assisting clients with custody and access dispute. He can be reached at (416) 222-6980. View his firm’s Divorce Magazine profile and website.