This process has fewer steps than a contested divorce. If you and your spouse are unable to reach agreement about all of the divorce issues, then a contested divorce will be the way to go. This is a longer process and often has numerous steps that must be completed before a judge can make his determinations.
There is a mandatory 60-day delay period, and an uncontested divorce will typically take about three to four months. Our involvement isn't as extensive as in a contested divorce, since in a uncontested divorce the couple is not arguing over issues. We are able to draft initial documents with our client and supply them to the non-client spouse for review. Then, after minor revisions are completed or a full agreement is reached, after 20 days we can apply for a default decree. After the 60-day statutory "cooling off" period has passed, the court allows setting a default hearing date. Usually only the petitioner needs to go, and the court will most likely grant the agreement.
The arguing and fighting over issues in a contested divorce can last for a very long time. Depending on the spouses and the judge, the divorce can take anywhere from eight to 15 months, after the initial 60-day delay period and after the parties have locked horns.
The initial period is called "discovery." This is the process through which documents are exchanged; hopefully willingly, but through a subpoena if necessary. After documents are submitted and the court can review them and hear arguments, the judge may make his decisions on the divorce and the related issues, such as child support, child custody, property division and alimony (spousal support).
It is important to note that at any stage of a contested divorce, the parties can always go back to a peaceful resolution and get divorced, as long as the 60-day delay period has passed.