Length of Court Case

Family Matters

Question

If my matter ends up in Court, how long will it take before it is completed?

Answer

The length of time your case will take from start to finish depends on a number of factors, including the relationship you have with your spouse, the lawyers involved, the issues involved and the jurisdiction in which your matter is being heard. 

If you are separated and there are no children, property or support issues, an uncontested divorce can usually be obtained in three to four months. 

If there are relatively straightforward parenting, support or property issues involved, a Court proceeding from beginning to end will usually require three to four Court appearances and will be completed within one to two years. 

If there are complicated issues involved and/or the proceeding is marked by high conflict, there can often times be dozens of Court attendances which can span a period of five years or more before the matter is concluded. 

Providing detailed financial disclosure at the outset of the proceedings and being prepared to negotiate will help you resolve matters sooner and without the necessity of going to trial.  There are several mandatory Court Conferences which are intended to encourage the parties to settle their issues where the parties review the issues with a judge, who may provide an opinion on how a trial judge might rule on the issue.  If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the matter will be scheduled for a trial and a judge will make a final ruling after hearing both parties’ evidence.  

No single divorce case is the same.  All or some of the above factors will influence or determine how many Court attendances you will be required to attend and how long the whole process will take.