An online divorce is one of the most popular methods of terminating a marriage, mainly due to a faster process than traditional in-court proceedings. Typically, online divorces take to finalize from several months to a year, depending on the area a couple lives in. While some states have an obligatory waiting period ranging from 20 to 90 days or more, others, like Ohio or Virginia, have no such regulations.
Though an online divorce is a great option in terms of time and money spent, it won't suit all couples. If partners can't agree on such crucial aspects as child custody and support, visitation schedule, property and debt divisions, spousal support, etc., they can hardly choose an online divorce.
Spouses that have resolved all major issues of ending their marriage and apply for an uncontested divorce can take full advantage of an online option. Usually, such couples reach out to reliable services where experts will take care of all paperwork and provide them with filing instructions. Some companies even assist with filing, but such a service comes at an additional fee.
So, how long does it take to file for a divorce? Calculations are simple here. You need to:
- choose an online divorce service,
- fill out the questionnaire about your case, spending approximately an hour,
- wait a couple of days till your forms are ready,
- submit them to the court department,
- expect the judge to make a final decision and sign a divorce decree.
The longest part is the waiting period and case processing in the court, which can take from several weeks to 2-6 months or more depending on the court’s workload and the state.
How to Speed Up the Response Time
Many couples who want to terminate their marriage wonder, "Why does a divorce take so long?”. While this is true, and most cases are finalized within 6-12 months or even longer, it is still possible to speed up the process. To do that, you can:
- Delegate complicated document preparation to online divorce services. It is more convenient than filling out divorce forms yourself and much cheaper than addressing attorneys to handle the task.
- Collaborate on settlement. Sometimes divorces start as contested cases, but if partners are willing to negotiate and compromise on different issues, they can avoid lengthy court battles. It may be challenging to reach a settlement agreement without involving experts, so spouses frequently contact mediators or arbitrators.
Of course, spouses should be as cooperative as possible. However, sometimes they can't greatly expedite a divorce process simply because the local court has many cases to deal with. So, they just need to be patient and respect the state's divorce laws.