A question I am often asked. The answer is that it will take about 6 months from start to finish for a divorce which is undefended and when the other person cooperates. When I say this I get people looking at me in disbelief. But this is understandable as online companies claim they offer a quickie divorce and the media report that celebrities are opting for a quickie divorce. It all gives the impression that within weeks a couple can be divorce.
What is meant by a quick divorce in reality?
This means applying for a divorce on the basis that the marriage has irretrievably broken down due to either a) your spouse having committed adultery; or b) your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour. The divorce, with the speed at which the courts work, will take around 6 months from start to finish, provided the divorce is not defended and the other person cooperates.
The alternatives to a ‘quick divorce’ are:
- to separate from your spouse for two years and apply in 2 years’ time on the basis of two years separation but you need your spouses’ consent to the divorce on this basis;
- to separate for 5 years and apply in five years’ time on the basis of five years separation without needing your spouses’ consent.
However, again, you will need to apply for the divorce once 2 or 5 years has passed and the process, if the systems in place at present do not change, will take around 6 months from start to finish, again provided the divorce is not defended and the other person cooperates.
There are financial pitfalls of rushing a divorce through to its end before financial matters have been resolved. For this reason, a divorce when there are financial matters to resolve can take longer than 6 months. Also, you should get legal advice before the divorce starts because you could financially lose out if the divorce is finalised without resolving the financial matters properly.
It is really important advice is sought early on so you are aware of the pitfalls before applying for the divorce.
If you want to know more please contact me, Genette Gale – Family Solicitor on 01747 857303 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
This article is for information only. It was correct at the time of writing on 5 January 2017, the law and rules are constantly changing so you should ensure that you obtain up to date advice from your solicitor.