No reasonable person wants a long, drawn-out divorce. The longer the process takes, the more money it costs, the more time it takes out of your life and the greater chance there is that disagreements with your spouse will grow into serious conflicts. If you have kids, you also increase the stress on them.

As with any legal proceeding, some delays can’t be avoided. However, there are things that you can do, particularly if your spouse is agreeable, to speed up your divorce.

Being able to work with your spouse is key to moving the divorce along. That means compromising on things that aren’t particularly important to you. If you do, your spouse will be more likely to reciprocate. Determine what is worth fighting for, but don’t expect to “win” on every issue. It’s not possible.

If you and your spouse, along with your attorneys, can work out the terms of your divorce on your own without having to take any issues before a judge to consider, you’ll save considerable money, time and aggravation.

Don’t cause unnecessary delays by not signing or returning documents promptly. Just getting necessary paperwork to your attorney as soon as possible can cut down on the length of a divorce.

Speaking of paperwork, the quicker you can gather the documentation your attorney needs, the better. When you first meet with an attorney, even if you haven’t decided for certain whether to go through with the divorce, find out what documentation you will need to provide — like tax returns, account statements, property titles and your prenuptial agreement, if you have one.

Find out what you can do to lessen the waiting period. These differ by state. Rhode Island law stipulates a waiting period of “sixty (60) days after the filing of the petition, unless sooner ordered, ex parte, by a justice of the family court.” That means that you and your spouse may be able to waive or decrease that waiting period.

If you’ve decided that 2018 is the year when you’re going to move on from an unhappy or unfulfilling marriage (before the new alimony tax laws kick in next year), much of how the process plays out is in your hands. Even if you have an uncooperative spouse, your Rhode Island family law attorney can work to help you finalize the divorce efficiently, but with a positive outcome.

Source: Bravo, “Involved In A Messy Divorce? Here’s How To Speed It Up,” Jen Glantz, accessed Jan. 01, 2018