When you are thinking about getting divorced, you have to consider all of the ways your life will change once you are no longer married. One of the first things you will probably want to know is: How long does it take to get divorced?
In Wisconsin, the law requires a waiting period of 120 days after the divorce is commenced before the judgment of divorce can be finalized. Even if the parties file a joint petition, they still have to wait at least 120 days before they can be divorced. If there is an emergency concerning the health or safety of either party or their children, the court can allow the waiting period to be reduced, but that is rare.
Service and Discovery
While the waiting period is a minimum of 120 days, numerous factors can influence how long it takes for a divorce to actually finish. Initially, you have to ensure that both parties are properly served with the divorce papers. If you are unable to locate your ex, you have to go through additional steps to attain service. After the case begins, one or both sides may want to conduct discovery. This is a process where each party can formally ask the other questions request documents and sometimes schedule depositions. There can be disputes during discovery that lead to additional court hearings and delay trial.
Just as no two people are the same, no two divorces are identical. Some couples can agree on most major issues and get through their case in a matter of months, while other divorces may require more time and effort. Factors such as the complexity of the marital estate, how long you were married, and whether you have minor children can all impact how long your case will take to complete. When the parties are fighting over major assets or significant issues such as custody and placement, divorce cases can last for several months or even more than a year.