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Factors that impact the timeline of a divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce is a significant life event that involves various legal, emotional and practical considerations. The timeline of a divorce can vary depending on multiple factors. 

Understanding these factors can help you set realistic expectations and prepare for the process.

Complexity of the case

The complexity of the case is one of the primary factors that affect the duration of a divorce. Simple cases where couples agree on most issues can be resolved relatively quickly. Conversely, complex cases involving disputes over assets, custody or support may require extensive negotiation or court intervention, significantly lengthening the process.

Legal requirements

In North Carolina, couples must live apart for one year and a day before filing for a no-fault divorce. Also, you or your spouse must live in the state when filing and have lived there for at least six months. 

Dispute resolution

The method of dispute resolution chosen by the parties can also influence the timeline. There are a few options to choose from that include mediation, negotiation, and arbitration. Each will either shorten or prolong the divorce process. 


The level of cooperation between the divorcing parties plays a crucial role in the timeline. When both parties are willing to negotiate and compromise, the process tends to be faster. In contrast, contentious relationships often lead to prolonged disputes and extended timelines.

The timeline of a divorce is influenced by the case’s complexity, legal requirements, chosen dispute resolution method and the cooperation level between parties. Understanding these factors can help individuals navigate the process more effectively and set realistic expectations for the duration of their divorce. Before pursuing a divorce, it is wise to know all your legal rights and options to ensure you and protect them.