The divorce process is a unique process for each couple and even if you have been divorced before it may not play out the same way.  There are many factors that may change your divorce timeline and how long your divorce will take, nevertheless below is a basic divorce timeline.

  1. Filing the Original Petition of Divorce
  2. Service of Process or Executing Waiver of Service
  3. Waiting Period – 60 day minimum from filing to divorce finalization
  4. After the day of service, the Respondent has until Monday at 10:00 a.m. following the expiration of 20 days to file a written response with the court.
  5. If no response, then a default judgment may be entered on the 61 day after filing if proof of service has been on file for at least 10 days or the Waiver of Service has been filed.
  6. The court may also require a military affidavit to be filed along with a certificate of last known address.
  7. If an answer is filed, then a case strategy must be initiated with your attorney which may include discovery, mediation or scheduling a hearing.
  8. If the divorce is agreed, then most likely the Respondent will have executed the Waiver of Service and will sign the Final Decree of Divorce that memorializes your agreement.
  9. You may have also reached an agreement in formal mediation by signing a Mediated Settlement Agreement or MSA.
  10. If agreed, a prove-up hearing or final hearing will be scheduled with the assistance of your attorney pursuant to the court’s local rules.
  11. If no agreement is reached, final trial will be scheduled in your case on the court’s docket.
  12. The judge will render a decision that must be then formalized into the Final Decree of Divorce that is usually drafted by the Petitioner’s attorney.
  13. A Final Decree of Divorce must also be drafted if your case settled in mediation based on the provisions in the MSA.
  14. After the Final Decree of Divorce is drafted, each side will have the opportunity to review and amend.
  15. If the parties are unable to reach a decision on the form of the Final Decree of Divorce, a hearing will be scheduled to conclude any disagreements as to form and the Final Decree of Divorce will be entered with the judge’s signature.
  16. Once a judge has signed a Final Decree of Divorce, your divorce is then finalized with the courts and closed on the court’s docket.
  17. However, post-divorce proceedings may include dividing retirement benefits, refinancing or selling a marital residence and transferring title to automobiles.

This summary is only intended to provide a brief overview of the divorce process.  Every couple and family is unique which means that one size does not fit all.  Each divorce requires a joint effort with your legal team to make sure that your concerns, needs and goals are addressed.  It is advantageous to work with your legal team on a case strategy from the beginning so that your divorce may go as smoothly as possible.

Should you need representation or want to a consultation, please reach out to our office at 817-768-6333 or email us at  We would be happy to assist you with your divorce case.