One of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is “how long will this take?” The answer is – it depends. The most common ground for divorce, where there are children, is a twelve month separation. That period of separation must be continuous and uninterrupted. If there are no other grounds for divorce, it will take at least twelve months to begin the process. However, there are certain grounds, such as adultery, and the new mutual consent ground, where there is no required period of separation. In those circumstances, the divorce action can be immediately filed.
The fastest way to conclude a divorce is what we call an “uncontested” divorce. In those circumstances our client meets with us and we communicate with the party and attorney to attempt to resolve all the issues in an amicable and cooperative fashion. A marital settlement agreement is very comprehensive and covers issues of custody, child access, child support, alimony, division or marital property, insurance and taxes. The cheapest and fast way to get divorced is to be able to achieve such a marital settlement prior to filing divorce. If that is done, the process is very simple and quick, and can often be concluded within 90 days or less.
If the divorce is “contested,” Baltimore County determines how complicated the case is and utilizes different “tracks” for simple, moderate, and complex cases. In many circumstances, the process for conducting a contested divorce in Baltimore County takes 8-12 months. Such a contested case is very expensive, stressful and time-consuming. Nevertheless, Baltimore County does work aggressively to attempt to conclude the cases as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions about the process or how long it takes, you should consult with your attorney as early as possible to see what is the most time-efficient and least expensive way to conclude the process.