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Is There a Waiting Period Before You Can Finalize Your Divorce?

The divorce process can be lengthy depending on the level of disagreement between spouses. Even if your terms are settled amicably, there is a waiting period before you can finalize your marriage dissolution.

There is a 90-day waiting period for spouses who share minor children. This three-month “cooling off” period is designed to give the couple an opportunity to work out their differences and potentially save the marriage before it is officially dissolved. However, the 90-day waiting period is not absolute.

Family court judges have the authority to waive the waiting period under a variety of scenarios. If both spouses consent to the waiver, the waiting period may be reduced or eliminated entirely. The same is true when both spouses have completed marriage counseling. The judge may also waive the waiting period if it is clear to them that the spouses are unlikely to reconcile. There are also statutory grounds for a waiver, such as:

  • Abandonment
  • Spousal/family violence
  • Child abuse/neglect
  • Spouse’s incarceration for a felony

Another major factor affecting the amount of time it takes to get divorced is whether the case is uncontested or contested. In a fully uncontested case, where there are no children and both parties agree to the divorce and to all key terms, such as property division and alimony, the waiting period shrinks down to 10 days. If the case becomes contested, the divorce will take longer. The parties will have to go through the discovery process and possibly even a court trial, which can easily delay a final judgment of divorce for many months.

The courts permit and encourage alternative dispute resolution (ADR) during divorce proceedings whenever possible so that the spouses can attempt to resolve any differences outside of court. Regardless of the level of conflict involved in your divorce, it is always wise to speak with a family law attorney who can lay out all possible options and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Lindsey Law Firm, P.C. in Tulsa, Oklahoma has been practicing family law throughout the greater metropolitan area for many years. If you are in need of a highly capable divorce attorney, feel free to contact us online or call 918-587-0097 for an initial consultation.

Office Location
  • Tulsa Office
    1612 S Denver Ave.
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
    Phone: 918-587-0097
    Fax: 918-587-3763
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