How long does the divorce process typically take?

How long does the divorce process typically take?

The duration of the divorce process can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including the parties involved, the complexity of the case, and the jurisdiction. Generally, in Canada, you must be separated from your spouse for a minimum of one year before a divorce can be granted. However, you don't need to wait for the one-year period to lapse before you initiate the divorce proceedings. In fact, it's often beneficial to begin resolving corollary matters, like parenting, child support, and family property, as early as possible.

While you can file for divorce prior to resolving all outstanding issues, a judge will only grant the divorce once you and your ex-spouse have been living 'separate and apart' for one year or longer. 

If you've been separated for less than a year, you can still file for divorce on specific grounds - such as physical or mental cruelty or adultery. In these cases, you'll be required to furnish the court with supplementary documentation and evidence to substantiate your claims.

Several factors can influence the timeline of your divorce process:

  • Complexity of assets - dividing complex assets like businesses or overseas properties can be time-consuming.
  • Parenting and support - negotiations or court battles over parenting time, guardianship, and support can extend the process. 
  • Court availability - delays in court scheduling can also prolong the divorce process.
  • Dispute resolution - opting for mediation or collaborative divorce could potentially expedite the process if both parties are amicable and willing to compromise.
  • Legal requirements - additional time may be needed to fulfill certain legal requirements, such as serving divorce papers, mandatory waiting periods, or completion of parenting classes in some jurisdictions.

Because of these variables, it's difficult to provide a specific timeline for how long a divorce will take. However, working with legal professionals can help streamline the process and potentially expedite the resolution of complex issues.