How long is my divorce going to take? Often this is the first question posed by clients. It’s understandable that once the decision is made that clients want to be divorced as soon as possible. The answer to the question is: It depends. Parties who have settled all of their issues and entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement can be divorced in less than a month. For parties who are not in agreement and are litigating their matter the divorce can go on much longer. The goal of the New Jersey Courts is to have all divorces completed within a year. However, heavily litigated divorces in busy counties can take two to three years, if not longer.
In a litigated case the Defendant has 35 days to Answer the Complaint for Divorce after service upon the Defendant. If the Defendant files a Counterclaim for Divorce the Plaintiff has 20 days to file a responsive pleading. On standard track cases discovery is to be completed 120 days after the service of the Complaint for Divorce – which is 4 months later. After discovery is completed the parties are scheduled for Early Settlement Panel, Economic Mediation and Intensive Settlement Conferences. All of these events are opportunities for the parties to settle, but if they don’t several more months pass. Eventually if the parties cannot settle their case they will be scheduled for a trial. Trials are scheduled when the Court has a Judge available to hear the matter. This can often be months later. Trials themselves are rarely on consecutive days and as a result can continue for weeks.
If you have questions regarding the divorce process please contact the Edens Law Group, LLC at (908) 259-6565 to schedule a free appointment.