You may have decided that the marriage you are in is no longer a healthy one, and you are already looking at contacting a divorce attorney for help. One of the most common questions many people have when they decide they want to get a divorce is just how long it will take for everything to be finalized so they can move on with their lives. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because every divorce is different and state laws can vary pretty drastically. However, there are certain factors that can affect how long it takes for a divorce to be over and done. 

State separation requirements and waiting periods can affect how long it takes. 

Some states will have requirements about how long you have to be separated or how long you have to wait after separation to file for a divorce. Likewise, some states will have a waiting period that is required between when you initially file your paperwork and when you can go to court. These legally mandated stretches of time can make it difficult to get a divorce quickly, but they will have to be waited out just the same. 

How long it takes to get divorce papers served will have an effect. 

If you and your partner are not still living together, the divorce papers will have to be served to them by a court representative before the case can move forward. If your spouse is especially difficult to locate, it can definitely slow down the whole divorce process. For instance, if your spouse has moved out of town or out of state, it can be harder to track them down. Both parties have to sign when the paperwork is filed with the court system unless you qualify for a divorce because of abandonment or some similar issue. 

The court docket load can have an effect on divorce finalizing duration. 

In some cases, waiting a long time to get a divorce will have nothing to do with you, your spouse, or legal outlines in your state. Sometimes, something as simple as a backlog on the court docket will mean you have to wait a while for your divorce to be finalized because it takes so long to get to court. This is actually a big problem in some locations because the number of divorces in the area overwhelms a small family law judge who has a lot of cases. 

If you are considering getting a divorce, speak with a divorce attorney, like one at Law Offices of Jamie L. Hazlett & Associates, for more information.