Does it take a long time to obtain a divorce?

Couple in in distress while waiting for a divorce

How long it will take to get a divorce in Maryland or DC depends on whether the divorce is contested and on the level of cooperation between the spouses.

An uncontested divorce generally takes two to three months from the first filing to the Order issued by the divorce court dissolving the marriage. However, it probably takes about a month of advance planning since the spouses have to resolve all issues and come to agreement..

A contested divorce will take anywhere from nine months to a couple of years (or more) depending on how much the spouses disagree and what issues are disputed. The main issues that can be disputed involve property division (including division of debts), child custody, visitation, child support and alimony. In some divorces, smaller issues can be hotly disputed such as which spouse gets custody of the family pets or ownership of specific assets (like a vacation home, family heirlooms or sports equipment). Maryland high net worth divorces also tend to take more time since, by definition, there are more assets and property about which the spouses can disagree. If you have questions about obtaining a quick Maryland divorce, call the Maryland/DC divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl. Our numbers are (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280.. We can begin working immediately to obtain your final divorce decree as quickly as possible.

A few cautionary notes are in order, however. First, some matters are beyond the control of the spouses and their dedicated Maryland/DC divorce attorneys. This is true even if everyone is in agreement, cooperating and working diligently. One major factor is the schedule of the courts. Divorce courts are busy and scheduling court hearings can take more time than expected. Courts are also closed for various holidays. Delay can also be caused by third parties like the administrators of pension funds and retirement accounts. Division of those types of assets requires input and instructions from those third parties to ensure that legal requirements are met and that tax consequences are avoided.

Another cautionary note involves the adage that “haste makes waste.” Even if you want a quick divorce, be willing to accept some delay to ensure that you obtain what you are legally entitled to in the divorce. For example, if your spouse is hiding marital assets, we recommend letting the divorce take longer, rather than simply giving up what you may be entitled to. You may need your spouse “out of your life,” but there are practical solutions to that problem. One, separate households can be established and, two, spouse-to-spouse contact can be eliminated by having your divorce attorneys handle all of the necessary interactions. If abuse is occurring, again, there are practical solutions like obtaining a restraining order or filing criminal charges. Whatever the source of the urgency, consider resolving that so that you are comfortable allowing the divorce to take more time. This ensures that you maximize what you are entitled to.

Maryland and DC Divorce and Family Law Attorneys

For more information, contact the seasoned and experienced Maryland and DC divorce, family law and estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl. We have the experience and expertise you need. We also have proven experience with divorce and family law for Maryland and the District of Columbia. Schedule a consultation today or call us at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280. We have offices in Columbia, MD and Washington, DC.

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