Q&A: How Long Does it Take the Receive Your Divorce Decree in the Mail?

That is a very good question.

First, what is a divorce decree? Here is a definition:

divorce decree is the court’s final ruling and judgment order that makes the termination of a marriage official. Each divorce decree will be different, but in general the purpose of the decree is to summarize the rights and duties of each party in connection with the divorce. – Legal Match.com

Second, what is the rule as far as getting that final ruling from the judge? Answer: I don’t think there is a uniform rule on that. My sense is that it depends on where you are. It depends on the state. It differs. I would say on average between when you sign the final papers and the judge signs off on the divorce, it should take about 3-6 months depending on where you are. It could be a function of backlog of cases, the volume of divorces in the state’s courts that could determine how long it takes.

In some states it is sooner (for example, Washington D.C. it takes 30 – 90 days on average so long as you meet the six month residency requirements) and in others it could be longer. In New York, for example, it could take anywhere from 3- 9 months from start to finish depending on whether it is contested or uncontested but some cases could last years.
In California, by contrast, you have a six month waiting period after you file for divorce. So add six months to the average 3-6 mentioned above – if there are issues. If not, in six months to the day you filed it is possible to get a divorce in CA and have your divorce decree in your hand.  The other good news is that you can bifurcate the divorce in California and end your marriage while you are still hashing out the financial details of your divorce.

All in all, I think the average across all states is between 3-6 months. You have to inquire in your state where you stand with that.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day!