The divorce process always begins with a filing – either a 1A uncontested or 1B contested in Massachusetts. Which of these routes you choose will substantially affect the length of your divorce. “How long will this take?” is one of the most common questions we receive from our clients. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we have had parties in court before a judge in as little as a day, however it also can take six months to a year, and even longer for some couples.
The contested route to divorce generally takes much longer than the uncontested route, but since all couples are different and have different circumstances, there is no fixed timeframe that applies to all divorces. As a general rule, the more contentious the situation, the longer the divorce will take.
Time Standards for Divorce in Massachusetts
In modification cases, time standards are eight months. This means that, unless there are some extenuating circumstances, the case is on an eight-month track. In Massachusetts divorces, couples are on a 14-month time standard. What this means is that after the initial divorce filing, the case should be adjudicated within 14 months.
How long does Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) take?
Mediated or collaborative divorce – forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – takes place over a series of sessions. The amount of sessions it takes to come to an agreement on all the issues differs from couple to couple. For example, mediated divorce would typically take longer for spouses who have children versus spouses without children because there would be more issues to resolve.
How long does contested divorce take?
While contested divorce generally costs more money and takes longer than uncontested divorce, we encourage this strategy in appropriate situations; for example, in cases where you need a strategic approach to a highly contentious situation. In Massachusetts, if you file for contested divorce, the court would not be able to enter a judgment for at least six months, however contested divorces in Massachusetts usually take much longer than six months.
If you pick your battles wisely and don’t argue over the little things, chances are, your divorce will go much faster. Contact Miller Law Group, P.C. for more information.