“How long does a divorce take in Minnesota?”
Divorces can take a wide range of time to complete.
The quickest divorce can take as little as 4-6 weeks if there is complete agreement on the issues and the parties work together from the start.
The longest, most-contentious divorces can drag on for years.
Although “How long does a divorce take in Minnesota?” is a reasonable question, it unfortunately cannot be answered with certainty, because it will depend on your specific situation.
A divorce that goes all the way to trial, without any extensions, can take roughly 6 months – 1 year from start to finish. However, the length of your divorce can vary greatly based on the court’s schedule. Unfortunately, the court’s schedule is something that it outside of your control. It should also be noted that only 5-10 % of divorces in Minnesota go all the way to trial.
5 Factors that Influence How long a Divorce Takes
How long a divorce takes in Minnesota is influenced primarily by five factors:
- 1. You and how cooperative or combative you are
- 2. Your spouse and how cooperative or combative s/he is
- 3. Your lawyer and how well s/he facilitates settlement while still protecting your rights
- 4. Your spouse’s lawyer and how well s/he facilitates settlement while still protecting your spouse’s rights
- 5. The number of disagreements and severity of the disagreements between you and your spouse on divorce issues (child custody, spousal maintenance, property division, etc.).
In addition, you can control your own behavior and can select a family lawyer who will work towards a peaceful outcome. However, you can’t control how your spouse and how his/her attorney will behave.
Reaching Agreement Ends the Divorce Process
If spouses reach agreement on all issues at any point during the process, the parties or their lawyers can draft the agreement that will become the Judgment and Decree for the divorce.
In these cases, the proposed divorce decree is drafted, the parties and their attorneys review it, and then when all parties have signed the divorce decree, it is submitted to the judge for final approval.
Only rarely will a hearing be required if both spouses are represented by legal counsel.
An agreement signals the beginning of the end of the divorce process, unless there is some dispute about the agreement.
The judge then signs off on the divorce decree, the judgment is entered, and the parties will be provided with notice, usually within 2 weeks, that the divorce process is completed.