How Long Do Divorces Take in Orlando Florida?
One common question that we receive on an almost daily basis at our Orlando divorce law firm is how long the divorce process is expected to take for our clients.
The truth is that there is no simple answer to this question. This is because the length of time a divorce will take in Florida depends on a couple of really important factors. The first item that must be considered is what type of divorce your client is seeking. The next big factor to consider is how cooperative the other party to the action will be.
There are several different types of divorce, including simple divorce, contested divorce, uncontested divorce, or divorce based on a default.
Each of these divorce types could certainly have entire books written about them. However, I will provide a very brief description of each with the understanding that there is a lot more to each of these than what I am specifying here.
A simple divorce normally describes a divorce where there is no property to be divided, no children, and the only thing the judge needs to do is dissolve the marital relationship.
A contested divorce generally occurs when there are any legal issues that the parties are in disagreement on. These issues can include a wide variety of items such as alimony, child custody, division of property, and many others.
An uncontested divorce occurs when there are legal issues involved such as property or children, but both parties are in full agreement on how those issues are addressed.
A divorce by default occurs when a spouse files for divorce, has the other party properly served, and the other party fails to file a responsive pleading or participate in the case within the required time limit. In these cases, the court can issue a default and move straight to final judgment usually granting the petitioning party what they requested in their petition.
The two fastest types of Florida divorces are divorce by default and simple divorce. These divorces usually resolve in an average of 30 to 45 days.
The uncontested divorce comes in third place with an average of 90 days due to the fact that they typically require some negotiations and a light exchange of discovery.
The longest of the types of divorce in Florida is the traditional contested divorce. This is because there is a litigation process that the case must follow as prescribed by the family law rules.
A contested divorce can be completed in an average of 4 to 6 months if the case settles at the mediation conference. However, if the case does not reach a settlement at mediation and must go to trial, then the case is expected to take an average of 9 to 12 months or more depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
The other factor that influences the length of time and a Florida divorce will take is the level of cooperation that you will get from the other party. In our experience, this is a very unpredictable factor because often times when the other party is the one who does not want the divorce, they turn out to be the one who causes the most drama and difficulty in the case.
If you are facing a divorce in Orlando Florida, then contact our office today to discuss your case with an experienced divorce advocate. We can give you an honest assessment of your case, develop a strategic plan with you, and let you know what else we can do to help.
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.