Many people ask how long after divorce papers are signed is it final? That’s because they’re anxious to move on with their lives, and probably date again, remarry or move to another place. They need their divorce to be finalized before they can get to the next chapter in life.
The amount of time it takes to finalize a divorce depends on several variables. The most significant factor is whether you’re dealing with a contested or uncontested divorce. If you need help with assessing your case, get in touch with a Tacoma Divorce Attorney.
An Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorces are those in which spouses agree on all the divorce terms. The terms may involve child custody and support, marital property division and alimony. In such a case, you must draft an agreement and both you and your spouse should sign it. After that, submit the agreement and your divorce papers to a local court. From there a judge will sign off on your agreement.
As soon as you file your divorce documents, you should serve a copy of the forms on your spouse. Your spouse must send a written response within 20 days if you live in Washington State. Even if your spouse agrees to waive service, you’ll still need to wait for about 20 days before the hearing.
Based on the court’s docket, the uncontested divorce hearing may be scheduled for several weeks after that. During the hearing, the judge may ask a couple of questions before he or she signs the divorce decree.
Your marriage is not officially over until the judge sings your divorce decree. Therefore, don’t assume that just because 20 days have passed that you’re divorced. You’ll want to get a copy of the decree, because it contains important details like possible obligations for child support. The copy can be gotten at the divorce hearing or from the court clerk.
How Can You Speed Up A Divorce?
Not much can be done to speed up an uncontested divorce case. You’ll need to wait for a minimum of 20 days after serving the paperwork on your spouse.
However, if your divorce is contested, then you might be looking at 12 months or more before your divorce is final. It can take a long time to collect evidence and come up with valid arguments for use in a hearing. Contested divorces usually involve numerous hearings before ending up in court.
However, you can speed up a contested divorce through mediation. A qualified mediator can help you and your spouse to pinpoint disagreement areas and how you can come to an agreement. The process of narrowing down issues is very helpful. When both spouses agree to mediate in good faith all issues may be resolved. Additionally, the mediator may help you to draft and submit the divorce settlement agreement to a judge.
Alliance Law Group has tackled many divorce cases throughout Tacoma in Washington State. Even if yours is an uncontested divorce, you need to meet with an attorney to discuss your options. It’s essential for you to secure all your legal rights. Call us today to book a free consultation. Our experienced divorce lawyers are trained on how to handle the pertinent issues of divorce matters. They will guide through the process from start to finish.