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3 Factors That Can Impact The Length of A Divorce

The length of a divorce is affected both by legal matters as well as emotional factors.The question of how long a divorce will take isn't one that can be answered the same way for everyone. While this is the case, some may be wondering how long their divorce should take before even getting the process started. The truth is that specific factors can have a significant influence on the length of most any divorce. Here are three of those factors and how you can approach them to better understand the length of a divorce.

Your State's Laws Could Impact Your Timeline

In the United States, the state in which you live can impact the length of your divorce process. Each state has different laws surrounding divorce including how long you must be a resident of an individual state before you can file for divorce there. Also, some states require a certain period of separation to go by before you can actually file for a divorce. Other states may require a "cooling-off" period to pass so that you might reconcile and not go through with a divorce after all. Beyond these factors, other matters such as how busy a court currently is with other cases could also affect the length of a divorce. You may not be able to do anything to change these factors having to do with where you live, but understanding what will be required of you based on the state you live in will help you get a general idea of how long it could take. 

Conflict Will Prolong Your Divorce

The way in which you approach your divorce will have an impact on how long it takes. For those facing constant conflict, a divorce may end up taking longer overall. Conflict and disagreements over important matters like parenting time and responsibilities or division of assets can prolong a divorce, and it can also increase the amount of money and energy spent throughout this process. 

If you hope to decrease the length of your divorce, do your best to work together to reach agreements on as many of the most critical issues that you can. You may consider attending mediation to discuss the topics you find most difficult to agree on and with the help of a third party neutral, work to reach an agreement. If you believe you can stay peaceful throughout this process, you might also consider handling your divorce through what is called collaborative practice. Here, you will each work with your own attorney, and as a group, you will all meet together to discuss and reach agreements. Both of these processes are handled outside of the courtroom which can give you more freedom as far as the timeline of your divorce.

Emotions May Take Long to Heal

The emotional side of a divorce is one that will take a different amount of time to heal for everyone, but this won't just affect you and your co-parent. Your divorce will significantly impact your children, and the way they're feeling now may not be anywhere near how they usually feel. To help yourself and your children move forward, keep the conversation going with each other. Tell them that you love them and that the divorce was not their fault. Let them be free to express their emotions to you, even if what they're communicating makes you feel bad. Be careful not to lay out all of your feelings onto them so that they don't feel like they're responsible for them, but instead, let them know how you are feeling in a way that is appropriate in a parent-child relationship. It's okay to tell them that you're sad or angry more so in a way that lets them know it's okay to have those feelings, especially if that's what they are experiencing themselves. 

As for yourself, don't hesitate to get the help you desire. Talk to a mental health professional such as a counselor or therapist. Apart from that, talk with close friends with whom you can be free to be yourself and express your emotions. Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand in some ways, so try to incorporate regular exercise into your diet, even if it's just a quick jog before work or a long walk with your dog in the evenings. 

The length of a divorce may be different in every situation, but the things that every person can do to help shorten it somewhat are similar. Understand the laws in your state to get an idea of the timeline you cannot easily avoid. Realize that conflict only prolongs the divorce process, and work towards remaining peaceful to reduce the time you spend handling it. Finally, take care of your emotional well-being and that of your children. You can all move forward, and the sooner you feel yourself doing so, the better.