Atlanta, GA family law attorney Judith Delus Montgomery talks about the divorce process and how long it can take.
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When you think about divorce, everybody’s relationship is different. It’s so personal. Divorce is so, so personal. And so there are divorces that take three months and there are divorces that can take three years. It just depends on the individuals and where they are in their process. We try to be as realistic as possible. So there is two types of divorces. There is uncontested divorce and there is contested divorce.
A lot of folks come to us and they say oh, I have an uncontested divorce. Well an uncontested divorce means that you and the other party have made a decision to part ways. Not only have you made a decision to part ways, but you’ve also determined how property is going to be equally divided, how the children will spend their vacation, their weekends, their day to day. You determined who will be making that final decision when the parties cannot agree. You already decided that the bank account is going to be split X or Y way. You have made all of the decisions, and so all that you want to do is that you want an attorney to put everything that you guys have already agreed to in writing. Okay. And so that, you’re looking at 90 days.
But most folks may have decided that yes, we want to part ways but that’s all they’ve decided on. And at that time that is not an uncontested divorce. That is a contested divorce, and so the battles begin, especially if there is not a prenuptial agreement. If there is a significant discrepancy in income between one party and the next. Then we have to consider alimony. Child support is a given if there are children involved. The only time that child support would not come into play is again, if the parties have already made a decision that they are going to split visitation 50/50 and custody 50/50. Right. And so at that juncture one party may not have to pay any child support to the other because there is an equal distribution of care of the child. Otherwise child support will always come into effect. That can take six months.
If we have individuals that understand the importance of co-parenting and can be cordial with another, but I can tell you most divorces are not as cordial as we would like them to be. They’re not able to take the high road, although we would like them to. And so those things can last a little bit longer, especially when you factor in discovery. And so a lot of folks don’t know what the discovery phase is, but in Georgia that’s about six months. However, there can be multiple extensions. There can be time where the party needs more information to determine what do the finances really look like, especially if the individual has their own business, or if they’re a very high income earner and they have assets that are not necessarily liquid. So those are the things that you have to consider, so it can range is what I’m saying. It can be three months to a couple of years.