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Will a Contested Divorce Really Take Much Longer Than an Uncontested to End?


There are two main umbrella categories of divorces: contested and uncontested. As the names imply, a contested divorce includes considerations that have led to legal challenges, whereas no contests exist in an uncontested divorce. While it is certain that your divorce is going to become more complicated if it is contested, what most people want to know is whether or not it is really going to take much longer to conclude.

How a Contested Divorce Can Slow Down Processes

To understand how a contested divorce can add delays in your divorce timeline, it helps to first know what you can expect in an uncontested divorce. For an uncontested divorce, both spouses fully agree on all stipulations, guidelines, and clauses within the initial divorce decree. Therefore, the paperwork can be signed and finalized with just one visit to the court. Other than California’s six-month minimum residency waiting period, there may be no other delays.

On the other hand, a contested divorce means you do not agree with at least one part of the divorce decree. In order to end the dispute, you have essentially two options: take the case to court for a judge’s say, or reach a mutual agreement in mediation or an alternate dispute resolution method.

Mediation focuses on cooperation and the willingness to concede to some extent. As such, mediation is typically faster than litigation, but there is no guarantee it will be quick overall. Highly detailed divorces, like those dealing with multiple children in child custody or prized valuables in property division, may require multiple sessions of mediation to reach a total agreement.

Needing to bring your contested divorce to court will likely slow things down even further. To go before the court with an issue, you have to arrange for a court date or hearing. If the court is busy with numerous other ongoing cases, it could be weeks before you can secure a date. In a hotly contested divorce, it is possible that not all matters will be settled in just one court hearing. Instead, you may need multiple hearings to finalize the divorce, each taking numerous weeks or longer to schedule. This does not even mention the added time that might be needed to research and compile your argument to bring to court.

Pasadena Lawyers Guiding You Through Divorce

When all things are considered, the duration of a divorce could feasibly range from a few months to a couple years. It all depends on the complexity of the situation and whether or not it is contested. Although, what is more important than ending your divorce quickly is ending it correctly by upholding your best interests.

For experienced legal guides through your divorce and any challenges along the way or beyond, come to Gille Kaye Law Group, PC. Attorney Christine Gille is a Certified Family Law Specialist with the insight and knowledgeability to help you overcome any obstacle. All the while, our team’s objectives are removing unnecessary delays in your divorce and reaching the outcome that benefits you the most.

When you are ready to begin your divorce, or if you have any family law questions, contact our Pasadena law firm at (626) 340-0955 to arrange a confidential consultation.

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