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Below are the steps in many divorces followed by the typical time frame. I present this information so that you have a general idea about how the divorce process works and how long it may take. A mediated divorce generally takes four months from start to finish. A non-mediated divorce typically takes far longer, typically a year or more.

1. One or both parties meet with attorney for initial consultation

2. Divorce Writ, Summons Complaint and any temporary motions (divorce papers) are prepared by Attorney

3. Divorce papers are served upon opposing party

4. Divorce papers returned to court

5. Temporary (pendent lite) motions, if filed, are scheduled for a hearing

6. Documents exchanged in process called Discovery

7. Case Management Date

8. Written settlement proposal exchanged

9. 4-way conference – optional

10. Pretrial or Special Masters Conference

11. Judgment of Dissolution

Time Frame:

2-5 days from time attorney is hired

1-5 days from start of case

1-2 days from date of service

2-3 weeks from start of case

60 days from start of case

4 months from start of case



6-8 weeks after case management date

4-6 months after pretrial or special masters

The above is a rough time line, and it does not necessarily apply in all cases. For example, the above time frame applies to a typical limited contested case. If financial issues are contested, it may take a year or more to get a trial date or other resolution.

Also, if there are disputed child custody and/or parenting issues, the case will usually be referred to Family Relations for a custody/parenting study and a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) will be appointed to represent the children. Custody disputes, in general, will require an additional amount of 4 months just for the Family Relations Office study to be done. Most custody cases in this area that cannot be resolved by parents are referred to the Regional Family Docket in the Superior Court in Middletown. It typically takes 6 months or so to get a trial date once referred to the Regional Docket. The court will, however, schedule a day-long pre-trial in Middletown in an attempt to help the parties reach a resolution by agreement.