How long will an opposed divorce take?
There is unfortunately no clear cut answer to this. Certain legal processes have to first be followed before you can apply for a trial date for the opposed divorce to be heard. The trial date you are provided with will depend on any unforeseen circumstances in the matter and will depend on what the earliest available dates are for the court to hear the divorce action. The number of days that the trial will need to run will decrease the chances of getting an earlier date, and unfortunately if the trial is not finalised in the number of days provided for then the trial has to be adjourned to the next available date in the schedule of the presiding officer presiding over the trial. A divorce can take anything from 1 year to 3 years depending on the complexity.
The minimum legal processes that must first be finished before a trial date can be requested from the court are that:
– The pleadings by both parties (the documents setting out what you and your spouse want in the divorce action) must have closed;
– Discovery has been made of the documents that you and your spouse intend using at trial to support what you have asked for in the pleadings; and
– A Rule 37 conference between the legal representatives and the case flow management hearing must have taken place in which the issues in the divorce action are narrowed down and defined, and the matter is certified as being ready to proceed to trial.