When a divorce is uncontested, the couple must typically wait anywhere from 30 days to 12 months based on their state's prescribed waiting period for divorce finalization, according to McKinley Irvin Family Law. Divorces that require negotiation or litigation can take several months to over a year to play out.
States have mandatory waiting periods because some couples opt for counseling or other strategies to resolve their conflicts before the waiting period ends. The waiting period effectively prevents some divorces, reports McKinley Irvin. The greater the conflict and complexity of a divorce, the longer it takes to sort through. Significant financial assets and child custody are among the factors that contribute to lengthier processes.