One of the first questions new clients often ask is “how long will it be before I’m divorced and done with my spouse?” Our answer is usually not very satisfying. The time to finalize a divorce depends greatly on how reasonably the parties behave. If both parties are committed to resolving their case efficiently and are willing to compromise, most divorces can be final within 6-12 months. Children are the primary reason that cases take longer. Unfortunately, some parties are unable to put their children’s interests ahead of their own, leading to a lengthy custody battle. And when the parties have children, they are never truly “done” with their spouse, even after the divorce is final.
This article from the American Bar Association highlights an extreme case in Ohio involving two law professors who have been in court for 17 years after a 10 year marriage. It also reflects another trend we have found to be true: cases take longer when one party is a lawyer! The only ones who win in a 17 year legal battle are lawyers interested in generating fees.