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How Fast Can A Divorce Happen?
The speed with which a divorce happens depends on several factors. One of those factors is the local family law or civil court's calendar and docket. Another factor is whether the parties seeking a divorce have come to an agreement on terms. Of course, even with a complete agreement on all terms, the quickness with which a divorce can occur still depends on the court's calendar.
In some jurisdictions, if parties seeking a divorce come to an agreement on all terms, then they can possibly progress from filing status to final judgment in a matter of mere days. However, given the typical court calendar in most jurisdictions, the most expedited track would likely require a few weeks.
Ways To Expedite The Process
One of the ways that a parties' agreement can expedite the divorce process is by eliminating the service process. Service entails delivering the petition for divorce to the other spouse. Then, that is followed by a waiting period for the responding party to answer. All of this must happen before the case proceeds to court.
In the absence of an agreement between the parties, the petition for divorce must be served by the sheriff or private process server on the other party. Then, the responding party is entitled to a response period. The response period can stretch at least a month, if not more. No court date can be scheduled until after the response period lapses.
A responding spouse can waive the requirement of service by filing an appearance and also the response period required before any court date. That appearance of the responding spouse can be filed concurrently with the divorce petition. Then, the remaining time period required depends on how quickly one can obtain a court date from the court clerk. It could be within a few weeks, on the short side.
Of course, there are filing fees associated with filing the divorce petition and the appearance. Those fees can be combined and filed at the same time. In instances of qualifying financial need (as demonstrated to the court), fee waivers may be obtained.
Joint Simplified Divorce
Some jurisdictions also offer a divorce type called a joint simplified divorce. There are several qualifying requirements for this type of divorce. The marriage must be of short duration, with no real estate holdings, no children, and limits on combined personal property and combined incomes. This simplified divorce is achieved through use of standardized legal forms.