The length of time required to finalize a divorce varies, and depends on many circumstances. If the divorce is uncontested, where both parties agree on all the issues and are not in conflict, the average length of time can range from three to six months. Factors such as the county where the divorce is filed, or the backlog of cases before the judge who is assigned the application will have a bearing on the length of time it takes to obtain the divorce. In addition, where one spouse is missing, a publication divorce must be applied for, and this process can take up to one year.
However, if the case is contested, ie. issues such as property division, child custody and support are not resolved by the parties, the length of time will be considerably longer, anywhere from six months to over one year, depending on how complex the issues are. The more complex cases with adversarial parties and attorneys will take the longest. This is due to Preliminary Conferencing scheduling before a judge, discovery, depositions, subpoenas, court appearances, and possible trial.