Getting a divorce is one of the most challenging life events, and almost everyone hopes to complete the process as quickly as possible. But we have all heard of friends or family members who fought for a fair outcome for years. Is it common for a high net-worth divorce in Oklahoma City to take this long? How many months can you expect to negotiate with your former spouse?

The answer is that it depends on many factors, including the number of contested items, whether there are children involved, and whether one partner is running a business that makes up the majority of assets. What’s more, the lawyer you choose can significantly affect the duration and outcome of your divorce. Let’s have a closer look at what you can expect from the process if you or your spouse have acquired a lot of assets.

How Long Does a High Net-Worth Divorce Take in Oklahoma City?

The time it takes for a divorce to go through is highly individual, but on average, you can expect the negotiations to last 18-24 months if one or both partners have significant assets. When you first get in touch with your lawyer, they will ask you to explain the situation and what has led to the divorce. You should also mention which assets you’d like to hold on to and whether your partner is likely to contest your claim to them.

In many cases, your attorney will suggest an amicable settlement or mediation first. That way, you can save a lot of money and shorten the process. However, if no fair settlement can be reached, you will need to take your partner to court and fight for your rights. In such a case, you might have to wait for up to five years for a final result. However, such a long process is rare, and your lawyer will most likely be able to help you settle much faster.

Few Contested Items 

The easiest divorces are the ones that involve few contested items. This is the case if you and your spouse can agree on who should get which assets, and there is an easy way to split the possessions fairly. For instance, if you have two houses and a car, one person could get the more expensive home, while the other receives the smaller house and the car. Similarly, one person can often keep their retirement account in exchange for a piece of real estate.

But if your divorce is this simple and there are very few contested items, does it even make sense to hire a lawyer? In many cases, it does. They can help you evaluate whether the settlement is fair and make sure the divorce papers you sign won’t have any negative consequences later in life. It’s always good to have an expert double check your paperwork, so you don’t end up missing something in the fine print.

Many Contested Items

A divorce that takes more than a year often includes many contested items, which means that both spouses believe that they are entitled to certain assets, and no suitable solution can be found without the help of attorneys and a trial. You will not only have to work with your lawyer to find all the evidence you need, but you will also have to wait for court dates, which can cause further delays to the process.

The Lawyer You Choose 

The lawyer you choose to handle your high net-worth divorce in Oklahoma City has a big impact on your outcome. They will help you gather proof that you should be allowed to keep your assets, and they will also negotiate with the other side. If you choose someone who lacks the necessary professionalism and communication skills, they might delay the process by not getting back to you quickly and not filing the paperwork on time.

On the other hand, an attorney with a lot of experience and past success is almost guaranteed to provide you with an advantageous outcome. They will make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and that you are always prepared for negotiations with the other side. That way, you won’t cause any delays, and the whole process will be sped up.

Questions Related to Childcare 

Having children complicates any divorce because you have to consider custody, child support, and conservatorship. In some cases, it can slow things down since there are more elements that have to be worked out. However, a judge will also try to act in the best interests of the children, and it’s always good for them to have stability and certainty.

For this reason, everyone involved in the divorce might be more motivated to come to a solution as quickly as possible. That way, the children don’t have to worry about the ongoing separation for many months, and they can start to adapt to the new conditions faster. You should speak to your lawyer about your desired level of custody and the way you hope to share the responsibility with your former spouse.

Mediation vs a Trial 

Most divorces don’t require a trial because they can be resolved between the two parties. Unless the process is very amicable, you will still need to negotiate with your partner and work out the details of the divorce. Mediation can be a great solution because it relies on the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator.

This person can help you and your former spouse to voice your concerns and eventually come to a fair conclusion. If you are able to work everything out in this way, you can avoid the hassle and delays that come with going to court.

Business Involvement 

Divorces that involve a business can be especially complicated, particularly if this is the main asset that is being divided up. In some cases, the spouses were co-owners and working together, so a new arrangement has to be set up. Either one person buys the other out, the business is sold and the assets are divided fairly, or both parties continue to work with each other professionally while leading separate personal lives.

The situation is similarly complicated if only one person is involved in the business and there are partners outside of the marriage to consider. In such a case, the judge will attempt to make the best decision for both parties but also for the company and the other people involved, who shouldn’t be affected by this process.

Get Help to Navigate the Process

A high net-worth divorce can be very complicated, especially if some of the assets were brought into the marriage while others were acquired while the spouses were together. Similarly, ownership of a business can complicate the matter. In such a situation, it isn’t always clear who is entitled to what and how the possessions should be split up, so the divorce process can take months or even years to complete.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you get a good outcome and don’t have to spend several years of your life fighting for your rights. The first step is to hire an experienced divorce lawyer who is used to dealing with high net-worth clients and local to the Oklahoma City area. Get in touch with us now at Cannon & Associates to book an initial consultation with one of our attorneys. We will be happy to examine your situation and help you find a way forward.