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Getting a divorce: How long will it take?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Divorce |

If you have decided to get a divorce in Massachusetts, you should learn more about what to expect. The divorce process can go quickly, or it can take a long time depending on the factors involved in your case.

The fastest divorces take less time because you and the other party agree on how to divide your assets or set up parenting time. Slower divorces take longer because of delays due to breakdowns in communication or refusals to work together.

How long is the standard wait for a divorce in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has a unique divorce waiting period compared to some other states. In fact, it is seven months long, where may others have one-month, three-month or six-month waiting periods, if they have them at all.

Remember that waiting periods only apply to situations where there is no fault. If you are a victim of domestic violence or have a fault, you may be able to get the waiting period waived. Additionally, if both parties consent to waive the waiting period, the court may agree as well.

What is the purpose of a waiting period?

Now that you know what the divorce waiting period looks like, you might be wondering why it exists. Waiting periods are designed to give both parties time to negotiate and get their affairs in order. The waiting period should be thought of as a kind of “cooling off” period, which is there to let people think about what they’re going through and decide if the divorce is really the right choice for them.

Of course, many people negotiate and work out a separation agreement, custody orders and other factors. Then, they wait for the waiting period to pass and move forward to finalize the divorce.

How can you speed up your divorce?

Speeding up your divorce is possible. Consider options like mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes, and talk to your spouse about how you can both move forward together rather than at odds with one another. If you can work together, you can settle your affairs faster and move on with the finalization of your divorce.