How Long Does It Take For a Divorce to Become Finalized?

If you are thinking about  filing for divorce in Georgia and want to get this process done as quickly as possible, you are probably asking yourself: “How long does it take for a divorce to become finalized?” We speak with many clients who are planning to file for divorce and who have questions about the length of time that the average divorce takes. In short, there is no specific number of months for a divorce case since everyone’s situation varies so widely. While many Georgia residents go through similar matters in a divorce proceeding (division of marital assets and debts, financial distribution, alimony, child support, etc.), every family has its own specific set of concerns. As such, it is impossible to say with certainty that a divorce takes a precise amount of time for anyone and everyone.

However, we can discuss different factors that play a role in the length of your divorce. We will provide some answers to key questions about Georgia divorce law (Georgia Code § 19-5) below.

Is Your Divorce Uncontested or Contested?

The first question you will want to ask in determining how long it will take for your divorce to be final is whether you are dealing with an uncontested divorce or a contested divorce. Generally speaking, uncontested divorces go much faster than contested divorces. What is the difference?

An uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses generally can agree to terms, and the court can move forward quickly with finalizing the divorce. However, there is still a minimum time limit on an uncontested divorce. Under Georgia law, the court will not issues the divorce decree until 31 days have passed from the date that the divorce petition was filed.

A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot agree to most or all terms. As you might imagine, when the spouses cannot agree, the court needs to hear the case and ultimately needs to make many different decisions, such as decisions about the division of marital assets, financial support, and child custody. As such, a contested divorce tends to take much longer than an uncontested divorce.

Is One of the Parties Seeking Alimony?

Is one of the parties seeking alimony in the divorce? If so, the court will need to decide whether alimony is appropriate in that particular case, whether it should be temporary or permanent, and how much it should be.

When the court needs to rule on an alimony situation, the divorce proceedings tend to take additional time.

Are There Children From the Marriage?

Are there children from the marriage? Are the children still minors, or is at least one of the children still a minor? If so, then the divorce process is likely to take much longer than if there were no children from the marriage. Particularly in a contested divorce, the court will need to hear both sides when it comes to issues concerning the children, and it will need to enter orders for child support and child custody.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Georgia

Some divorces are very quick, taking only over a month until they are finalized, while others take much longer. If you need help with your divorce case, you should reach out to a dedicated divorce lawyer in Georgia. Given the complexity of family law in the state, you should not have to go through this difficult process alone when you can have an experienced advocate to help. Contact Mitchell & Crunk to learn more.