How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in England & Wales?

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How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?

7th November 2017

In England and Wales there is no such thing as a “quick divorce”. The time it takes to get a divorce varies, depending on the circumstances of the divorce and any backlog in the Court of Administration processing centre. A divorce could be granted in as little as 6 months, but it currently takes around 12 months in most divorce cases.

For free initial divorce advice call our Divorce Lawyers on 03306069626 or contact us online and we will help you.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to how much time a divorce is likely to take. For example, if both people agree to the divorce, there are no children to consider and there are no assets or finances to divide, then this simplifies matters and can mean the divorce process is quicker. However, if one person disputes the divorce and/or there are finances, property or children to take into consideration, then inevitably the divorce process is likely to take longer.

The Steps to Getting a Divorce

The first step that you will need to take when getting a divorce is to decide the reason for your divorce. You will need to prove “irretrievable breakdown of your marriage” citing either adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years of separation or 5 years of separation as the reason for this.

The person who is applying for the divorce (the Divorce Petitioner) will then need to complete the papers for the Divorce Petition. These need to be sent to the local Divorce Centre with the marriage certificate and the Court fee. The other person will then be notified of the Divorce Petition and they will need decide whether or not to contest (dispute) the Divorce.

If both people complete and submit their divorce papers quickly then this can speed up the process. It will still depend how busy the Court is, but an uncontested divorce (not disputed) will be considerably quicker to process than a contested divorce.

Contested Divorce vs Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a divorce that both people in the marriage agree to, with neither person disputing it. If a divorce is uncontested, it can be a relatively straight forward process and can often be dealt with by the Court on paper, meaning that there’s no need for the couple to attend Court.

A contested divorce is more complex and will require the divorcing couple to attend Court hearings (usually two).

For uncontested divorce cases we offer a Fixed Fee Divorce for £300 including VAT, plus Court fees. This fixed fee service provides you with a Divorce Lawyer to take you through the usual steps to end your marriage.

Dividing Divorce Assets and Finances

If the divorcing couple own joint assets, then they will need to decide how these will be divided between them. Common things to consider include how to divide the equity of the family home, if there are any pensions that need to be shared and whether there’s spousal or child maintenance to be paid from one person to the other. This is known as the Divorce Financial Settlement.

It's important to note that while Decree Absolute will legally end your marriage, it will not necessarily end your matrimonial financial commitments to your ex-spouse.

Getting a Divorce Financial Order

Once the Divorce Final Settlement has been finalised, the agreement should be made legally binding by applying to the Court for a Financial Order. This will mean that the couple’s finances then become separate and neither person can make a claim against the other in the future.

For free initial divorce advice call our Divorce Lawyers on 03306069626 or contact us online and we will call you.

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.

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