Divorce Timeline: What to Expect

Having a general overview of the divorce timeline can help you get an idea of what to expect from the divorce process. It can be overwhelming when you first begin looking at all of the steps that you’ll need to take. However, having an experienced attorney by your side can help you through the process. Deciding to get a divorce is the first step you’ll take. After that, you and your spouse will each prepare for the divorce separately. Then you’ll move to the negotiations stage of the process. This is where things can get quite complicated and can take much longer or shorter than you expect. And finally, you’ll settle your divorce and everything will be finalized. Hopefully, the process will be as stress-free and easy as possible with the help of your attorney.

Divorce Timeline: What to Expect When You Are Going Through the Divorce Process

Deciding to Divorce

The first step in the divorce timeline is you and your spouse deciding that you want a divorce. You might come to this conclusion together or one partner might surprise the other with a divorce. However you come to the decision, you’ll both want to go ahead and hire legal representation. Your attorney will fight for your interests in court and will provide you with all of their legal expertise to make sure that you are content with your settlement. One of you will need to file a legal divorce petition, serve it to the other, and file it with the courthouse.

Preparing for Divorce

The next step in the divorce timeline is for each of you to prepare for the divorce proceedings. You’ll each have to gather paperwork about your financial situation, your assets, debts, and many other documents. You can also request documents from your spouse as well. In most states, you’ll attempt to go to mediation before going to a full trial.


Negotiations are probably the most stressful part of the divorce timeline. You and your partner will discuss how to split up your assets and make many other decisions. If you can come to agreements in mediation, you’ll come up with a divorce settlement and file it with the courthouse. If you are not able to agree, your case will go to trial.


The final step in the divorce timeline is a settlement. If you and your partner end up having to go to trial, then the court will decide how your case will be settled. They will issue a legal divorce decree that outlines each of your duties and the terms of the divorce. If either party is still in disagreement, they can appeal some of the judgment. If both parties agree to this then your divorce is final and you can begin moving on. It’s time to legally change your name and begin the process of healing.

The divorce timeline can seem a little overwhelming when you first begin looking into it. However, an experienced attorney can make the process seem much more manageable. They will walk you through each step so that you are getting the best settlement possible. You’ll begin the process when you decide officially that you’d like to file for divorce. After this, you and your spouse will prepare documents and then move towards mediation. Hopefully, you can settle here, but if not you’ll continue negotiations at trial. And finally, the court will settle your divorce and issue a decree that spells out the terms of your divorce. After this, you can begin to move on and heal from the process. Hopefully, you and your attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement that you and your spouse are both happy with.