We’re often asked: How long will my divorce take? The answer is, it may be short or it may be long. It completely depends upon the individual circumstances of your case.
The short: In Tennessee, the minimum statutory waiting period for a divorce is 60 days after filing for divorce if there are no minor children involved and 90 days after filing if there are minor children involved. So that means that a divorce in Tennessee can never completed in less than 60 days from when the divorce complaint is filed. Usually, when the spouses both want the divorce and they mutually consent, the case can be resolved in two to six months with very little cost to the parties.
The long: A contested divorce in Tennessee can last for two or more years, although the average case usually takes about a year or a little more. When a divorce is contested, court proceedings are involved and courts are often backed up. The case will go through the typical litigation process of discovery, motions, and potentially a trial. Furthermore, if division of a pension is involved, the process may take an additional 60 to 180 days after the divorce is granted to complete the division of those assets.
As you can see, there is a wide variety in the length of time a divorce case will take in Tennessee. If you and your spouse can agree on a lot of issues, the process will move a lot faster and will save you considerable amounts of money. Conversely, if you and your spouse are fighting over child custody, property division and other issues, your divorce will take a lot longer and may even have to go to a trial.
If you are considering filing for divorce, you should consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney to help protect your rights, even if you are expecting the process to go quickly with few disputes. That’s the long and short of it.