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How Long Does A Divorce Take In New York State

The first question most litigants ask when seeking guidance is, “How long does a divorce take in New York State?” The answer to this isn’t a straightforward one. Various elements must be considered while determining how long a divorce takes in New York state. Until the final divorce decree is handed over to the concerned parties, a clear estimate of how long does a divorce take in New York State cannot be drawn. Our legal team at The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. have witnessed litigation cases that sometimes take as little as six months or more than six years.

If you and your spouse are in good rapport with each other, litigation wouldn’t be necessary, and the answer to “How long does a divorce take in New York State?” would depend on how quickly you resolve issues within yourselves. You can have all divorce-related issues resolved through either mediation or negotiation. For example, suppose you mutually agree on all the terms and conditions associated with assets, child custody, and support. In that case, you may be required to fill in important papers and have them submitted at the county clerk’s office. The immediate process would be to wait for the judge to process and issue the divorce judgment. Depending on the number of cases registered with the court, the answer to “How long does a divorce take in New York State?” may be between 3 weeks and ten months to close.

Only some uncontested cases close quickly; most others take months and even years to complete. Often litigants seeking assistance explain that they are willing to resolve all issues with their spouse on mutual terms. But as the case proceeds, it becomes clear as daylight that it is headed toward litigation. If such doubts and confusions prevail in your divorce case, then be reminded that the answer to your query “How long does a divorce take in New York state?” would keep changing and getting dragged.

We have put together a list of steps associated with a litigated divorce. If you understand the difficulties related to each process, you can make informed decisions and know how long a divorce takes in New York State.


This phase involves the discovery of the assets owned by each spouse. The litigants must exchange financial information, and both partners should try to discover as much financial information as possible. Soon after the discovery phase, a preliminary conference will be held wherein the schedule of the remaining case will be set up, and the documents on net worth will be submitted. This process may take 2 to 4 months to come to an end.

  1. Motion Practice

The discovery phase can get delayed if one of the partners requests temporary custodianship or financial help until the pending case ends.

  1. Offense Petition

Another reason a litigation action could get delayed is the filing of an offense petition. If one of the spouses requests an order of protection, the divorce process can get delayed by months. Even a rough estimate of how long a divorce take in New York state cannot be drawn out in such a situation. It could also lead to the arrest of one of the spouses, and the divorce case would be put on hold until the criminal charge is dismissed.

  1. Court Trial

Only when the discovery phase is cleared court will schedule a trial. At this juncture, you must resubmit the documents related to finance and also other relevant files related to the case. Then, based on the availability, the court will give you a trial date; sometimes, a trial can take six months to 1 year.

divorce law
  • Post-Trial Memos

A post-trial memorandum outlines the current position of each spouse. You should submit this memo soon after the trial completion. It may take around 30 to 90 days to have this process completed.

  1. The Final Divorce Decree

Based on the proofs available and the documents presented, the judge will decide upon the judgment. Neither you nor your attorney will have control over the time the judgment may take. It could take even a year to get the final divorce decree.

So, if you are to choose the path of litigation, you have to deal with each of the steps mentioned above. The reply to “How long does a divorce take in New York State?” depends on how quickly each step gets processed and cleared. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. usually suggest our clients conclude a divorce case on amicable terms. If the case goes to court, you will have no control over how long a divorce take in New York State.

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