Why Is My Divorce Taking So Long?

The legal process doesn't always move as swiftly as one might hope. There are often deadlines and procedures that must be followed before a case can be finalized, leading to delays. People often point to “the right to a speedy trial.” However, this is not applicable in civil cases and likely does not benefit the litigants to rush a divorce case to a final hearing without it being properly prepared. This blog will explore some items that are crucial in the divorce process that often affect the timeline of the case. 

In divorce cases, there are several factors that can contribute to the length of the process. Firstly, there's a mandatory cooling-off period of 60 days in Indiana, during which the divorce cannot be finalized. During this period, it is essential for the parties to conduct “discovery” (this is a legal term for gathering information) to value the marital estate. This begins the process of being able to determine what needs to be divided.

When children are involved in a divorce, the court will sometimes appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or custody evaluator. These professionals require adequate time to interview the parties and children, gather information, and file a report to the court. This can take many months – depending on the availability of these individuals. 

The dynamic between the divorcing parties can also impact the timeline. If the parties are engaged in conflict or emotional battles, it can result in more court filings or communication about the case, as well as attorneys requiring consistent communication with one another. Another common reason for delays is the valuation of assets such as retirement accounts, businesses, or real estate, which often requires expert appraisals and reports. Sometimes, multiple experts are needed to assess assets and liabilities for both parties. Again, these are professionals that require time to gather the necessary information and provide a report to the court. 

Divorce also involves untangling two lives, including separating households, furnishings, accounts, and funds. This process can be time-consuming, especially when children are involved, as issues related to custody and support need to be resolved. Marriage was essentially never meant to be broken, which results in a time-consuming process of figuring out how to clean up the pieces. 

Even when parties are in agreement, there may still be valuations or discovery processes to ensure all relevant information is disclosed for fair custody, support, and property division. While this may prolong the process, it's essential to have accurate information to prevent future disputes. This will also allow you to have a ‘fair shake’ when it comes to division of assets and otherwise. 

We hope this blog post has shed light on the complexities of the divorce process and why it can take time. These are just a few ways that the divorce proceedings can easily become a lengthy process. This blog is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions or concerns about your case, Ciyou & Associates, P.C. is available to assist. Serving clients throughout Indiana, our team is committed to providing guidance tailored to your needs and your legal objectives. 


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