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Timeline of a divorce

By the time a couple in Washington decides to divorce, both parties are usually ready to move on with their lives. For this reason, divorcing spouses often hope that they will be able to end their marriage quickly. However, there are a number of factors that can affect the timetable of a divorce.

Couples who don't have a lot of assets or children and have not been married for a long time may be able to obtain a divorce quickly, providing that they can agree on all aspects of asset division. Similarly, couples that do have significant assets or minor children may still be able to swiftly complete their divorce if they are willing to work together to settle these matters quickly.

There are, however, situations that may slow down the divorce process. In some cases, a spouse may try to slow down a divorce by not showing up in court or refusing to sign divorce papers. While a divorce can go forward without one party's cooperation, this sort of behavior can drag out the proceedings.

More commonly, divorces are delayed due to arguments over child custody, spousal and child support payments and asset division. In such cases, a couple may seek the services of a professional mediator who can work with them to come to an amicable agreement. Binding arbitration is another option that gives a third party the ability to resolve issues upon which the couple cannot agree on their own.

Other options include lawyer-led negotiations as well as going to court. In such cases, however, a couple can expect their divorce  to take a year or more to complete. An experienced attorney may be able to keep the process moving, minimizing costs as well as stress in the process.

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