Once you have served your spouse and filed your request, how long does it take to get a hearing scheduled? And how long after the hearing does it take for the final court or decree?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The answer to your question depends upon the Court in which your case is pending and the type of hearing that you are trying to schedule. If you have filed an initial complaint in Montgomery County, once your spouse is served the Court will schedule an initial conference approximately 60 days later. At the initial conference dates will be set for any preliminary hearings and the final hearing(s). The anticipated length of these hearings will impact when they are set. Usually the court issues an order in open court at the end of a hearing and then a written order is submitted promptly thereafter.
If you have not already done so, you should retain counsel to assist you with this matter.
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It all depends on the county where you file. Som counties can be 2 months before a hearing. Others only a few weeks. If both parties sign a 10 day waiver form, the court order may issue within a few days after the hearing. It is then a final order, but subject to motion to amend or appeal by either party for the next 30 days.
Family Law Attorney
Mr. Havens' answer is a good one and it really is dependent on which Court you are pursuing your case. If you are in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, you can find very good information on the Court's website or you can sign up for the Court's Pro Se Assistance Clinic to get further answers. In Montgomery County the initial conference is a "Scheduling Conference" set before a Family Court Master and all services and dates, except the final divorce hearing, are set then.
If custody is at issue then the Court will bi-furcate your case and you will have a custody hearing first to resolve those issues, then you will proceed with the propery resolution services and court dates. You will have a Status Conference before a Master and if you cannot resolve everything, then the Court will assign you a final divorce date (note that you will want that scheduled for a day more than 365 days after your separation). Therefore, if there are custody issues you should expect to wait approximately one year (12 months) for your final hearing.