An uncontested divorce can be done quite quickly in Virginia– especially if you have an experienced attorney handling your case. A good timeline from beginning to end is 2-4 weeks. But the real answer is that it depends on you. What does that mean? In most of these cases, I am waiting for my clients to sign the documents I have prepared and that is what causes a delay in the timeline.
Almost every time, clients will assure me that their divorce is simple, and they (the two spouses) are in complete agreement and ready to move on immediately. In actuality, one spouse may not be ready to move on or let go, despite assurances that they are so. This can manifest as a delay in signing the necessary documents when the time comes. A skilled attorney can be really helpful here, bridging the gap in communication and moving the process forward efficiently.
Sometimes, clients will think their divorce is simple, but they have children- questions of the children’s custody have already occurred to the now divorcing parents but other issues may have not: Who is responsible to pay for the children’s medical insurance, car and auto insurance? Who makes medical decisions for each child- is it one parent, or both? What about travel arrangements, especially outside of the US? I have worked with a number of clients where the travel arrangements were an issue. Coming to agreement on these terms can take time. If you or your spouse are from another country or spend a lot of time traveling to another country with your children, this issue must be addressed.
These issues, and a host of others, are dealt with in the PSA (Property Separation Agreement). The better and more experienced your attorney is in preparing and incorporating your decisions into this agreement, the faster and smoother your divorce will go. I spend the majority of my time and energy making certain the parties have all of their needs met in the PSA because it is the substance of how the parties will interact once the divorce is finalized: this is critical for not only the divorcing couple- addressing such questions as who is living where, who is paying the mortgage- but for the children and the family involved as well. Having a clear picture of what each person has agreed to, and when and how they are going to do it, really helps everyone move forward in a healthy, prosperous manner that increases the value of their everyday lives.