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How Long Does Divorce Take And What Does It Cost?

You’ve made the difficult decision to end your marriage, but now the divorce process itself is causing even more stress. As the weeks and months go by, you’re watching the legal bills pile up and wondering “Why is my divorce taking so long and costing so much in North Carolina?”

The truth is, every case is unique, and certain factors can significantly increase both the duration and expense of your divorce proceedings.

No Two Divorces Are Exactly Alike

Even if you have friends or family who went through a divorce in NC recently, their situation was likely very different from yours. Divorce costs and timelines can vary significantly depending on factors such as:

  • Whether you are negotiating child custody and visitation
  • If there is a complexity of assets that need to be divided (e.g., high-value real estate, investments, business interests, etc.)
  • Whether the relationship  between you and your spouse is amicable or adversarial
  • If there are allegations of domestic violence or substance abuse, or other complicating factors

Some divorce cases can be resolved more quickly through mediation or uncontested proceedings. However, the more unique the challenges, the more time-consuming and expensive the case may become.

The Court’s Backlog And Schedules

In many cases, the actual speed of the divorce is unrelated to the efforts of your Kernersville divorce lawyer. Even if both parties are completely cooperative, you are at the mercy of the court’s caseload and judges’ schedules in Forsyth County. Courts that handle a high volume of family law cases may take months to hear motions or schedule hearings and trials.

Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce In NC

An uncontested divorce in North Carolina, where both parties can reach an agreement on most or all key issues, could take only a few months. However, once a divorce becomes contested, with spouses arguing over child custody, asset division, and other issues, it can last for a year or more. Each new dispute that requires hearings, documentation, and negotiation drives up the time and costs.

Situations That Increase Divorce Time And Costs

While each case is unique, below are issues that typically result in significantly longer and more expensive divorce proceedings:

  • Child Custody and Visitation Disputes: In North Carolina, the courts require divorcing parents to go through child custody mediation first, adding time. If they still cannot agree on custody arrangements after mediation, it may lead to lengthy negotiations, guardian ad litem fees, custody trials, and potential appeals – significantly increasing costs while prioritizing the children’s best interests.
  • High-Value Asset Division: It is difficult to properly evaluate and divide complex assets such as investment portfolios, real estate holdings, business interests, and others. You may need to involve experts such as appraisers, actuaries, and tax advisors.
  • Domestic Violence Allegations: When one spouse accuses the other of domestic violence or child abuse, it significantly raises the stakes and conflict level of the divorce case. Careful investigations and evidence-gathering take time.
  • Business Ownership and Valuations: If either spouse owns all or part of a business, complex valuations and potential partner buyouts can cause delays and increase costs.

An Experienced Family Law Attorney Is Your Guide

While no one wants their divorce to be drawn out and expensive, the reality is that effectively protecting your rights and your children’s best interests requires time and money. An experienced family law attorney in Kernersville is dedicated to resolving your divorce as quickly as possible while focusing on the best possible outcomes.

Your lawyer’s role is to set realistic expectations, minimize unnecessary delays, and work diligently to resolve issues through mediation and negotiation whenever possible. However, they cannot cut corners on the critical task of developing a strong, fact-based argument on your behalf.

At Scott Law Group, we believe in pursuing positive outcomes for our divorce clients while keeping costs under control to the extent possible. We’ll walk you through every step of this difficult process and fiercely advocate for your interests. While costs are impossible to predict, you can rely on our attorney’s experience and open communication throughout the process.

Call our office at 336-310-8569 to schedule a consultation if your divorce is stalled or you need guidance on how to move forward while protecting your family’s best interests.