Many are familiar with the process of divorce. It generally involves filing paperwork with the court and developing a divorce separation agreement.
But how long does this take? On average, divorces that are negotiated generally take about a year while those that go to court can take closer to 18 months until finalized. It is important to note that these averages are just that — an average of the time it takes for divorces throughout the country. Every divorce is unique and will progress at its own pace. Factors that can impact the timeline include the following.
#1: Contentious or amicable.
The mindset of both parties will impact the process. The process will likely take longer if one is upset or feels wronged by the divorce process and is fighting back every step of the way as opposed to a situation where both parties want to move forward as efficiently as possible.
This will likely impact whether the parties can negotiate a divorce settlement or go to trial.
#2: The complexity of assets.
Certain assets take longer to distribute. The process varies depending on the state. North Carolina state law allows for the equitable distribution of marital property. This basically means any property acquired during the marriage is subject to division during divorce. This can include business interests, retirement assets and real estate.
Some assets, like business interests, will require valuation to help guide the distribution process. In some cases, the parties may request multiple, independent valuations to get a better idea of the worth of the business. A party that wishes to retain these interests can then negotiate another asset of similar value in exchange for retaining the business interests.
#3: The presence of children.
There are additional factors to consider when children are present. Child custody arrangements and child support payments are part of the divorce discussions.