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The facts about how long it may take to finalize a divorce

It's only natural for anybody in Maryland seeking a divorce to wonder how long the process may take. There is no straightforward answer since many factors will play a role in what's involved with the process. However, there are some basic guidelines that can be used to get a general idea of what to expect. For instance, a couple with no kids and very little assets may have to do nothing more than file the necessary paperwork. This type of divorce could be over as soon as the waiting period is through.

If the end of the marriage is fairly amicable, but there are some issues to resolve, a neutral mediator might be able to help both parties reach a mutually acceptable arrangement. A divorce that's settled in this manner may be completed in a matter of months, or it could take longer if one or both parties doesn't have sufficient motivation.

In situations where there are several issues a couple is unable to agree on themselves, arbitration is an option. During this process, attorneys will represent both spouses, although an arbitrator will help everyone come to a consensus. This person may only handle certain issues, or he or she could assist with all decisions. This process is usually faster than a court-decided divorce. The last option is a negotiated settlement involving lawyers for each party and attempts to reach a settlement. A judge will make decisions if both parties fail to agree on terms.

Even with a simple divorce, it's possible for a dispute to arise. Regardless of the circumstances involved with the dissolution of marriage, meeting with a family law attorney could provide added peace of mind for a soon-to-be ex-spouse. Attorneys typically recommend strategies that may minimize the length of the divorce process. They may also offer advice on ways to protect assets and how to proceed with custody negotiations.

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