So, our record for the shortest fastest divorce, was three weeks. That’s from the time that the client hired us, with us completing all the paperwork, filing with the court on an uncontested basis, and having the judge sign off on all divorce papers with a final judgment. And that was done in our record time of three weeks.
On the other hand, I’ve had complicated cases that go on for much, much longer. One of them has been going on for almost four years.
It’s largely due to the fact that there are a lot of issues. And the judge was simply not available. And part of was due to the pandemic as well.
And a lot of it was a lot of extraneous circumstances that were weighing down the divorce process.
So that occur in any given case.
So there’s no good way that any lawyer can predict with certainty how long each case could take.
However, there are certain factors that could give us important clues.
If I were to meet with you and go over the specific facts of your case,
I can give you a better range based on four factors.
Factor number 1: I look at the number and the value of the assets. And the complexities of the issues involved in these assets. Such as houses, real estate investment properties, businesses, things of that nature.
Obviously, if there are few or no marital assets, we’re not likely to argue over who gets what.
Of course, the opposite, or the other extreme, is true.
If cases involved many assets of high values, or complex issues about whether certain assets are considered marital vs non-marital, then the divorce could take much longer.
The second factor that we look at is the length of the marriage.
The longer the parties are married the more likely it’ll be complicated and take more time to resolve.
The reason is that the parties with longer marriages usually acquire more assets and debts during the marriage, and they have also more exposure to alimony which also takes more time and work to settle.
The sooner you divorce the less complicated your case may be.
The third factor I look at is whether there are minor children. If there are minor children or pregnancy from the relationship this could complicate a divorce.
So, that brings us to factor number four.
The extent to which the parties are agreeable and cooperative about reaching an agreement for the divorce.
This, to me, is really the most important factor of all of them. You can have many complicated issues in any given divorce case.
But if the parties are amicable, cooperative, agreeable to reaching a settlement, that they can both live with, the can sail through this process very quickly.
On the other hand, I’ve had cases with very few or simple issues that are normally easily resolved, but one ore both parties are being unreasonable or disagreeable.
So, now that we have all of these factors in mind, we can look at that case that I mentioned that I did as little as three weeks.
Well, that was a relatively simple case.
So, in that case we had very few assets, and the assets that there were were of very little value. And it was a short-term marriage of just a few months.
There were no minor children and the wife was not pregnant.
But, most importantly, both parties were in full agreement with the divorce.
They were very cooperative with giving me all of the information I needed, and coming in and signing the paperwork for a full settlement agreement right away.
As soon as I filed all of the legal documents for the judge to review, the judge took it upon himself to expedite a final hearing right away.
The entire case was completed in just three weeks.
On the other hand we have the other extreme.
Let’s take that 4-year case that I mentioned before.
We had a long-term marriage of 17 years. There were many properties that were acquired during the marriage with a lot of disagreement on whether the assets were considered marital vs non-marital.
Add to that the fact that we had minor children with medical disabilities, and alimony, and the list went on.
But, the worst part about that case was not necessarily all the issues, but it was really the fact that the parties were simply not willing to settle on any of the issues, because of them, in fact, sometimes both of them, were being very unreasonable.
Now, all because all of the issues exist doesn’t necessarily mean that your divorce case will take forever.
It just sends up a little alarm bell in my mind as to the length of the process and how complex the case may be.
I hope this short video provided you some guidance on the amount of time it may take to complete a divorce in Florida.
Of course, this short video is not a substitute for an actual consultation with an attorney who could review the specifics facts of your case.
Thank you again for joining me today. And as always, stay informed so you can stay strong.