Skip to Content Top

How Long Does the Average High Net Worth Divorce Take?


Once you decide to get a divorce in California, you might understandably want to get it over with as soon as possible. Yet there might be more time between you and an official divorce than you originally expected, especially if your divorce is considered a high net worth divorce. Whereas a typical divorce might conclude within 6 months or so, a high net worth divorce often takes 12 months at least, and some can even take years, depending on the situation.

Why Do High Net Worth Divorces Take Longer?

If a typical divorce ends in months, why do many high net worth divorces take years? The answer comes down to the complications and challenges that tend to occur with divorces involving expensive and significant assets, financial accounts, and properties.

A high net worth divorce might take longer than a typical divorce because there are:

  • More to consider: You won’t be able to settle a property division agreement until you understand the value and extent of all community property. With more property to find and appraise, there is naturally a greater need for more time to complete this step. If inheritances and company assets are involved in your high net worth divorce, then it could take a year just to get all the records and documents about those assets before the divorce process can continue.
  • More to fight over: When a divorce is contested, the spouses can’t agree on at least one thing in the divorce decree, so more time will be needed to find a way to agree. Multiple mediation sessions might be necessary to settle the matter, or it could head to court. Both situations will add time to the divorce timeline. In a high net worth divorce, there will be more reasons to disagree with your spouse, so the risk of slowing down your divorce is increased.
  • More days in court: If you do go to court for a high net worth divorce, it is likely to need far more days in court compared to a typical divorce case. The court will want to review all sorts of evidence like financial records, business contracts, real estate deeds and leases, etc., based on what highly valuable assets are involved, for example. Furthermore, you are guaranteed to have all the court dates for your divorce case all in a row. As different steps occur, it could be days or weeks in between court sessions until you are finally ready to litigate with an attorney representing you.

With all these factors of a high net worth divorce considered, yes, it can take longer than a year in some cases to finalize the divorce. If you’re worried about losing time while waiting for your divorce, you should work with a divorce attorney from the start. Attorneys understand courtroom procedures, case preparation, mediation, and more, so you don’t inadvertently delay your case further with mistakes that you might have made on your own.

California Waiting Period for High Net Worth Divorces

Don’t forget that high net worth divorces in California are subject to the state’s waiting period that applies to all divorces. By law, your divorce can’t be finalized for at least 6 months after filing it. No matter how organized your high net worth divorce is prepared or how completely your spouse agrees with the original divorce petition (making the divorce uncontested), you will need to wait at least 6 months to officially dissolve your marriage.

Do you have more questions about high net worth divorce? Want to know how a divorce lawyer can help you move through one without unnecessary delays? Call (888) 392-1941 now to talk to an Orange County divorce attorney from Gill Law Group, PC, where we focus on high asset and complex divorces. Schedule your free initial consultation with our firm today.