I get this question a lot, in fact I probably hear it about 6-7 times a week at my law office. So, I thought I would add a little information here to help you understand a bit more about how long it takes to get an uncontested divorce in Memphis.
First though, make sure you understand what an “uncontested” divorce actually is by reading my definition of an uncontested divorce here.
- We meet and learn more during our marital consultation and find out what’s going on in your life and the specific problems you’re facing.
- Sometimes this is done over the phone or through email for simple divorce matters.
- You complete all the forms that we need.
- It’s up to you on how long this takes
- For simple divorce matters the only form usually completed is our client questionnaire form.
- In cases with a considerable amount of property to be divided we also have you complete our marital balance sheet.
- And in cases where there are minor children you will need to complete our parenting plan form.
- We get a first draft of all the documents we create back to you for review about 2-3 weeks after you return the documents listed above back to us.
- This can take a little more time or a little less time for us to return to you. It depends on how busy we are and how many active cases we are currently working on.
- You let us know if any changes or needed to the drafts.
- We usually make revisions within 1-2 days and return to you for review.
- If everything is correct and documents are ready to sign then you present them to your spouse for his signature on the MDA (and parenting plan if minor kids are involved).
- Again, it’s up to you on how long this takes.
- You return the documents that your spouse needed to have signed and notarized back to us.
- We can witness your signature on all the documents at this time, or you can sign and have them notarized and just drop them off or mail back to us.
- Yet again, it’s up to you on how long this takes.
- We file your documents once they are all signed, notarized and all fees have been paid.
- We wait for the “waiting period” to run out.
- This is 60 days from the date the complaint was filed in divorces with no minor children, and 90 days when there are minor children involved.
- When the waiting period is about to be over we request a date from the clerk’s office for the final hearing.
- This date is usually sometime one week to one month after the waiting period is over, dependent on the judge’s and attorney’s calendar.
- You and I attend the final hearing where I present the judge with a final decree for him or her to sign. This final decree is usually signed at this hearing by the judge and your divorce is complete.
- You will be given a copy of this final decree at the courthouse, and your spouse will be mailed a copy of this decree since he is usually not present at the hearing.
So, how long do all of these steps take?
There isn’t an exact answer. As you can see above, the total amount of time it takes from the first time we speak until the divorce is finalized is heavily dependent on your actions.
But we’ve found that for the majority of uncontested divorce we handle it takes between 4-6 months for a divorce without minor children and between 5-9 months for a divorce with minor children.
Of course, there are cases that may go a little faster and some that take much longer. But this is usually because the spouses either agreed to everything very quickly and returned all information to us quickly, or they couldn’t agree easily and/or drug their feet returning documents to us.
I hope this helps you understand how long it takes to get an uncontested divorce here in Memphis, TN. And if you have any questions you would like answered please email me at James@MemphisDivorceFirm.com