By: Carl A. Taylor III, Esq.

One of the biggest questions on many clients minds is how long does it take to get divorced in NJ?  The answer, of course, is that it depends.

Some divorces take only 3-6 months, whereas others can take 3 or more years.  From my own experience, the average time from start to finish is approximately 9 months to 1 1/2 years.  That said, the length of an individuals’ divorce is very much dependent upon a number of factors.

Here are some of the major factors that will determine the length of the divorce process.

Is the Divorce Contested or Uncontested? 

Generally speaking, a contested New Jersey divorce takes longer to complete than an uncontested divorce.  When the parties forgo litigation and work with a mediator, they can often come to an expeditious and amicable resolution.

The Attorneys 

It’s not a big secret amongst NJ divorce attorneys that certain attorneys are more wiling to work towards an amicable settlement than others.  If both attorneys are motivated to work out an expeditious and just resolution, then months or even years can be taken off the divorce process.

As I have written before, I believe that keeping costs low and working towards an expeditious divorce is the proper strategy in most divorce cases.  That said, sometimes you have to fight “fire with fire.”

The Parties Themselves 

Similarly, there may be no single bigger factor than the mentality of the parties themselves.  If one or both parties want to make the other person (and/or the divorce process itself) miserable, than the divorce process can take on a life of its own.  The sad thing is that usually this strategy is harmful to all involved.

The County

It’s also no secret amongst New Jersey divorce attorneys that certain counties are better equipped to move cases than others.  In today’s tough economic times, some counties simply do not have sufficient resources (including a sufficient amount of judges in some instances) to move the calendar at a proper pace.

Most counties have grown substantially in terms of population.  Yet, the amount of Superior Court Judges has often held steady or even decreased.  This is true of important court personnel as well.

The Facts of the Case 

Obviously the facts of the case play a major role in how quickly a matter can be resolved.  There are certain factors that by their very nature generally make divorces more time-consuming.  These include:

  • When Custody is in issue (children can complicate a divorce).
  • When one or both of the parties owns a business/is not a W-2 employee.
  • When the parties have significant assets.
  • When the parties cannot agree upon valuations for the marital home or other property.
  • And so on.

Conclusion 

Although there is no guarantee a divorce will be resolved within a set period of time, there are certain actions that can be made to shorten the divorce process.  This will also help to keep costs down.

A divorce can have a major impact on a person’s life, and should be taken seriously.  That said, a divorce litigant’s own mentality will generally play a major role in how long or short of a time it takes to conclude their divorce.

Your New Jersey Divorce Lawyer:

If you’re considering a New Jersey divorce or Family Law action contact me to discuss your options.  You can schedule an initial consultation by calling my office at 908-237-3096 or by scheduling your own divorce consultation online by clicking here.