How Long Will My Divorce Last?

When we talk about a marriage breakup we often want it to end soon. Let it happen now, do the paperwork, leave everything closed, and restructure our lives again. Also for the children in common, if any, since it is a process that can leave a mark on them especially if they are minors.

So one of the fundamental questions we ask ourselves before the process begins is: how long does a divorce last?

The answer to that key question is complex. It does not depend on a single factor, but many variables influence that will determine for how many months or years the rupture process can be prolonged . Variables that cannot always be controlled, and among which we can highlight:

  • Type of divorce
  • Where the divorce takes place
  • Whether or not there are children
  • Liquidation of the economic company

What we are going to try with this post is to give you the guidelines to make the time that your procedure lasts, as far as possible, be reduced to a minimum . And we are also going to provide statistics that will be useful for you to make your decisions and face divorce with greater guarantees, one of the most frequent procedures within the branch of Family Law.

Divorce by mutual agreement or through contentious channels

This is one of the factors to be analyzed, and for which we have concrete figures through the National Statistics Institute. The first thing you should know is that an express divorce or a mutually agreed divorce is going to be resolved much faster than a contentious one .

With data from 2018, 64.7% of divorces by mutual agreement were resolved in less than three months. At the other extreme, 41.8% of contentious procedures were resolved between six and eleven months, and 27.3% in 12 or more months.

It is true that understanding will not always be easy. But it is also just as true that it is always recommended (and also cheaper) to seek that consensus with your ex-partner – and the help of your divorce lawyer – to be able to write the regulatory agreement together and present it to the courts without the need to sue.

It happens that in contentious divorces two hearings are required before the judge , one provisional and the other definitive. And here comes the second of the four factors that we address in the next point.

The speed of the courts

Here, feeling it very much, you will not be able to influence. Although it is one of the important points in the process, neither ex-spouses nor lawyers can play any role in speeding up court times.

So your divorce will depend on the agility that is in the civil courts of the municipality where you are going to make the break effective, which is usually the place where you have the family residence.

The provisional hearing, in general, is usually called within a few months of filing the divorce petition , regardless of where it occurs. But the process can be delayed, even years, waiting to be called for the final hearing if it is a contentious break .

The volume of cases that the courts have will determine when the marriage dissolution will be effective.

It should also not be forgotten that in the event of a contentious divorce, the offices that the parties may request come into play: evaluations to psychiatric doctors, declaration to minors and a long list of mechanisms available to ex-spouses that will make the process stretch .

Divorce with children in common, or without children?

This is another of the big problems at the time of approaching the divorce, and that will determine the duration of the procedure. We always insist that in the event of a marriage breakdown the weakest part will always be that of the minors in common that the couple may have, that they will undergo a painful process without having the tools to understand it that adults have.

For this reason, the protection of children in common, the so-called ‘best interests of the minor ‘ is one of the main concerns before a divorce, both by the lawyers and by the judge and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

How does having children influence the length of the divorce? When it comes to a marriage dissolution with children in common, a series of essential requirements must be included in the regulatory agreement: type of custody and custody , alimony , visitation regime … All this means that the negotiations are more complex if you opt for mutual agreement, which translates into an increase in time. 

In addition, at the time of validating the agreement presented by the parties, the judge will have to carefully study how the agreement of the ex-spouses affects the minors in common, since if any point goes against the minor’s interest, it will be pushed back. .

Likewise, in contentious divorces it is more complex to capture in a document the conditions that will regulate the relationship between children and their parents. Without forgetting to take into account the opinion of the children, since from the age of 12 they can be brought before the court to testify.

For all these reasons, and in general, childless divorces are resolved more quickly than those that do . However, the responsibility between the parties that dissolve their relationship is going to be fundamental for, even if there are children, to reach a point of agreement quickly.

Dissolve the economic partnership of marriage

The last of the big blocks that influence the length of the divorce proceedings is that of the liquidation of the economic regime of marriage . It should be noted that this is not a procedure that must be done at the time of filing the complaint , but can be extended over time, without the law defining for how long.

Liquidating the economic company at the time of writing the regulatory agreement for divorce has many advantages and is what family law attorneys recommend. If it is not done, it is possible that at that time you save money (part of your lawyer’s fee) and speed up the procedure somewhat, but you will continue to be linked to your ex-partner and you will not be able to dispose of your assets freely, which could mean conditioning your economic viability future to the decisions of your ex-spouse.

Once the decision has been made, to dissolve the matrimonial property regime, specialists take into account the type of company created: community property or property separation.

The procedures to break the partnership of community property will be more complex since it is a model in which practically all the assets, rights and obligations (except the private assets described in the Civil Code ) obtained during the marriage by either of the two Members pool and belong to both fifty percent.

On the other hand, in the property separation regime, inventory and division of property between ex-spouses is easier -which does not mean that it is easy- because each owns their income and what is with them bought.

If you do not know by what regime your marriage is governed, this decision was reflected in the marriage contracts signed at the beginning of your union, although it can be modified once the marriage is advanced.

Once you know what the keys are so that your breakdown is resolved in the shortest possible time, we recommend that you contact a divorce lawyer who will guide, advise and protect you with the aim of being able to dissolve your marriage in the least harmful way possible for you and your children.

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