Home What is a Contested Divorce and How Long Will it Take?

What is a Contested Divorce and How Long Will it Take?



As the best divorce lawyers in Gilbert AZ we often get asked, “what is a contested divorce and how long will it take?” I want to talk about how divorce is finalized in Arizona. Specifically, what I want to discuss is what a contested divorce is and how long it’s going to take for a contested divorce to be completed. Now a lot of people come into my office to sit down and talk with me about their divorce. There’s always a lot of uncertainty, but a very common question is: how long is this going to take? And I always give them the same answer. It probably sounds like an attorney answer, but the answer is always: Well it kind of depends.

It kind of depends on whether this divorce is going to be one of those that we’re going to be able to come to an agreement quickly and resolve through an uncontested process or whether it’s going to be contested. Well, what is a contested divorce? A contested divorce is the situation where you and your spouse simply can’t come to an agreement on all of the issues that need to be resolved in order to finalize your divorce. Remember that in a typical Arizona divorce, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved. Issues involving children, property, debt and sometimes even support. A lot of times, we’re able to come to agreements on all of those issues. But if we can’t come to an agreement on every single one of those issues, we simply can’t finalize the divorce by agreement. Well what does that mean? That simply means that this case will proceed through a contested divorce, which is where we end up going to court, putting on evidence in front of the judge, the judge will hear the evidence and ultimately render a decision. How long does that take? That also depends. It’s really hard to say. It depends how many issues we can’t agree on.

If we can’t agree on anything, then typically a contested divorce is going to probably take between eight and twelve months to complete and that’s simply a matter of how long it takes to get a trial date from a judge in Maricopa County. It takes a long time. Maricopa County courts are really, really crowded. If it’s only one or two issues that we can’t come to an agreement on, thus we don’t need as much time with the judge, then you know we can probably resolve the case through contested divorce through a trial in maybe four to eight months. The bottom line is that contested divorces are always much much longer because we have to go through all of the litigation processes. We have to do discovery. We have to go to court and we have to put on our evidence in front of the judge.

So I suppose the moral of the story here is; it’s always better to settle if possible, but we understand that sometimes that just isn’t possible and when it’s not possible, you always want to have an attorney who knows how to litigate a case, who’s not afraid to go to court, understands how to put on evidence and argue your position so that your rights are always being defended. Here at the law offices of Kevin Jensen, we’ve done that for more than a decade. We have a lot of experience in litigating contested cases and although we always try to settle, we’re always ready to go to court if necessary. So please call us here at the law office of Kevin Jensen. We have lots of experience handling contested divorces and we are more than happy to help you through that difficult process.

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Jensen Family Law in Gilbert
4365 E Pecos Rd # 138,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 900-2302


We are the experts’ Divorce Attorneys in all matters of Family Law in Gilbert Arizona.

You can contact our office at the following times:

Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm

Telephone: (480) 900-2302 or send us an email.