Phyl Bean Law
Family Law Attorney
It depends. Amicable couples who don’t have minor children or any contested property or spousal maintenance issues can frequently be divorced in just a few months. Other couples may have minor children and contested property or spousal maintenance, but if both are able to negotiate reasonably and in good faith, they may be able to get divorced in around four to eight months. Other cases may take years. Unfortunately, it generally takes two to get divorced quickly.
The following factors can greatly increase the time and expense of a divorce proceeding:
Yes, but… Because attorneys have a strong obligation to their client, representing two parties can cause a conflict of interest, which would then prohibit the attorney from representing either party. For example, Attorney John Deer represents Fawn and Buck Roe, who have agreed on all issues of the divorce, including custody of their daughter, Bambi. However, when meeting with the couple, Deer discovers that both parties are under the impression that Fawn would automatically get custody of Bambi, and that that is the primary reason why Buck agreed to let Fawn have custody. If John Deer withholds that information, he will be doing a disservice to Buck (as well as potentially committing an ethical violation). If he tells both parties, he will prejudice Fawn, because Buck will probably want a 50/50 (or more) custody arrangement. Deer should withdraw from representing either party because of his conflict of interest.
NOTE: Phyl Bean does not represent both parties to a divorce because divorces are fraught with potential conflicts.
It depends. The fewer issues that are contested and the shorter the pendency of the divorce, the better the chances of getting divorced without spending a tremendous amount of money. The more hotly contested the case is, the more expensive. Divorces can range from less than $1,000.00 (both parties represent themselves) to several thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a few cases involving multi-million dollar marital estates, attorney’s fees can even get into millions of dollars. Fortunately, that isn’t true about most divorce cases.