Cabot, AR asked in Divorce and Family Law for Arkansas

Q: How long will a Divorce Settlement Agreement take to become a finalized decree of divorce once both parties signed?

My spouse had filed for an uncontested divorce in which I later contested and made a counterclaim for. In the beginning of this process, neither of us had an attorney and were representing ourselves. In court after my spouse made his argument (which wasn’t well prepared), the judge then told him that he would need to come back to prove his grounds and kept our case open. Well a few months have passed, and we have decided to both sign a Divorce Settlement Agreement prepared by his attorney. His attorney advised once everything has been signed, we would not need to return to court and everything will be handled accordingly. BTW, we do not have any shared properties or children together.

My question is, how long will this process take once the papers are signed? Is there a waiting period before the judge makes a judgement for a final decree of divorce?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Patrick R. Lee
Patrick R. Lee
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: The judge cannot enter a decree of divorce until at least 30 days after the original complaint is filed, even when it is an uncontested divorce. It sounds like that amount of time has definitely passed.

You shouldn't have to return to court if the attorney is preparing some deposition testimony to submit to the court to prove grounds. Otherwise, someone will have to go and testify to residence and grounds before the judge will sign the decree. A good number of judges now allow that testimony by deposition, though, which just means you write out the testimony and sign/swear to it.

So basically, this should all only take as long as it takes your husband and his lawyer to get back in court or submit those documents to the court.

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