If a person is seeking a divorce, they might be eager to know when the process will be complete. After all, obtaining a divorce could represent a fresh start in life for someone who needs one. If you’re wondering how long your Massachusetts divorce will take to complete, there is no simple and definite answer. However, you might be able to obtain a loose understanding of your divorce’s timeframe by looking at a few hypothetical examples.
How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Massachusetts?
When a couple’s divorce is amicable and they are willing to cooperate with each other, the process of divorce becomes much simpler. Divorces that both members of marriage agree on are referred to as uncontested divorces. Massachusetts law refers to this type of separation as 1A divorce. However, a variety of factors can still make an uncontested divorce take longer.
These factors include:
- If a couple has children
- How much property division a divorce requires
- How soon meetings can be scheduled
- How long the court takes to get through backlogs
Importantly, even if both couples are completely cooperative, an uncontested divorce still requires a few months for an agreement to be completed by a mediator or attorneys. After these few months, the couple will need to file their agreement and joint petition for divorce with the court. Then, a couple will receive a hearing date that could be months after their filing, depending on how busy the court system is. Once a judge approves the separation agreement, a temporary judgment of divorce will be entered 30 days later. Then, the judgment will finalize within 90 days. This information combines to suggest that even the fastest Massachusetts divorces will still require months of preparation, court proceedings, and paperwork.
How Long Does Contested Divorce Take in Massachusetts?
Determining how long a contested divorce is a nearly impossible prediction. Since so many factors influence a divorce when two spouses can’t agree, the process can take anywhere from months to years to reach a conclusion. In Massachusetts, a contested divorce is also known as 1B divorce. When someone wants to file for a 1B divorce in Massachusetts, they do so by filing a complaint for divorce. Once this complaint is filed, there is a wait time of at least six months before a divorce hearing.
In some instances, couples can settle their divorce during this six-month time span. Couples going through a contested divorce might be able to speed up the process with a status conference with the judge or a pre-trial conference. If they’re unable to reach a divorce settlement, they will have to go to court after six months have passed.
The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court has released a standing order that estimates the length of a contested divorce as 14 months. However, this process can still take longer depending on what disputes are involved with a divorce and how busy the court system is.
Call a Massachusetts Divorce Attorney for Help at (508) 502-7002
Nothing guarantees a specific outcome or length of time for a divorce. Those facing divorce should speak with an attorney before starting the process, even if the divorce is uncontested. Speaking with a Massachusetts family law attorney will help make sure the process is handled properly. For contested divorces, hiring an attorney means having the protection needed when two parties are in disagreement about their separation.
At Miller Law Group, P.C., we’ve assembled a top-notch legal team who are always focused on family law. Every member of our staff is ready to provide the best possible experience for clients. We know that every divorce is unique, and we’re ready to help you find solutions that fit your legal needs. Importantly, we only practice family law so you can be certain that you’re case is receiving the experienced attention that it deserves.
For a free consultation with a Massachusetts divorce attorney, call Miller Law Group, P.C. today at (508) 502-7002.