If you have decided to separate and divorce, it is likely that you are wondering how quickly the process can take place. Whilst there is no such thing as a ‘quickie divorce’, many people want to reduce the time and stress it takes to reach a resolution.

The divorce rules changed in April 2022, and it is now not necessary to blame one party for the marriage breakdown. You will also not need to wait for five years of separation to get a divorce without having to worry about your partner defending it.

With the introduction of the no-fault divorce, it now takes a minimum of 20 weeks to get a Conditional Order, previously called a Decree Nisi. This is designed to be a reflection period and gives couples time to discuss finances and child arrangements. Then it requires a further six weeks to get a Final Order, previously known as a Decree Absolute.

Alongside these periods that are automatically built into the divorce process, there is the time it takes to file for divorce and for the respondent to confirm receipt of the application. This is done by returning the Acknowledgement of Service and must be completed within 14 days of receipt of the application. Therefore the average divorce now takes around seven months to complete.

What can you do to speed up the process?

The divorce process cannot be sped up, but there are common mistakes and errors that you can avoid that prolong the process. These include:

  • Avoiding making spelling mistakes or errors on the divorce petition
  • Responding quickly to the court when asked
  • Informing your partner about your intentions

It will also help if you and your partner can agree on the details of the divorce, such as financial settlements and arrangements for children, rather than having the Court decide for you.

If you reach an agreement this way, you can apply for a Consent Order to make an agreement legally binding. This can be done using divorce mediation or collaborative law, and both of these will be more efficient than taking your divorce through the courts.

What does the divorce process look like?

There are several steps in the divorce process:

  • Step 1 – To start a divorce application, you must complete a divorce petition form and submit it to the court. Since April 2022, these are now digital.
  • Step 2 – The court will send your partner a copy of the divorce petition, the Acknowledgement of Service. They have 14 days to complete it and return it.
  • Step 3 – There is now a 20-week reflection period, and only after this time can you apply to the court to proceed with the divorce. If the court approves, you will be issued a Certificate of Entitlement to confirm the date of your Conditional Order. Then you enter into a six week ‘cooling off’ period.
  • Step 4 – To complete the divorce, you must apply for a Final Order, which officially ends your marriage and allows you to remarry.

Call our divorce lawyers now

If you have more questions about the divorce process and timelines, please call 020 4535 2300 or 020 3621 0111 or email info@bellwethersolicitors.com

We offer divorce advice in Surbiton.