One of the first questions that many people ask about divorce is fairly simple: How long is this going to take?

Generally, it’s because they’re interested in ending the marriage as fast as possible. They’ve already made the decision to end it, after all. If they were simply dating, that would be it. It would be over. But marriage is more complicated and requires a legal process, so they want to know how much extra time they’re looking at.

The problem is that there’s no easy answer that can always apply. Some have said that it usually takes “less than a year.” But even that is pretty open-ended. Are you looking at three months? Six months? All twelve months? How do you know?

The best thing to do is to consider how many factors apply to your case that may make the divorce take longer. For instance, it’s usually much longer for those with children than those without. A high-asset divorce can take longer than a low-asset divorce since the couple has far more financial decisions to make. You also have to think about the level of disagreement between the two of you. If it’s a high-conflict divorce or a case where your ex is going to contest every decision you make, that’s going to take much longer than a case where you’re both on the same page and you already agree about how to divide assets, how to split time with the kids and things of that nature.

In short, every divorce is unique. Just make sure you understand what legal steps you will need to take.

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