How Long Does a Divorce Take in the UK?

Facing the end of a marriage is undoubtedly a challenging journey, filled with uncertainties and questions about what lies ahead.

Understanding the duration and process of a divorce can help you mentally prepare for the road ahead.

In the United Kingdom, the minimum period for a divorce is 26 weeks, approximately six months. However, the timeline can vary based on the complexity of the divorce and individual circumstances.

What steps are necessary for a divorce?

To better comprehend the duration of a divorce, it’s essential to break down the process step by step.

1. Check Whether You Can Get Divorced

  • Marriage duration: You must have been married for at least a year.
  • Permanent breakdown: Your relationship must have permanently broken down.
  • UK residency: The UK should be the permanent home of at least one of the parties.
  • Legal recognition: Your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK.

2. Consider Who Will Apply for Divorce

You can choose to handle the application yourself or opt for a joint application.

Communication with your spouse is crucial to avoid surprises.

4. Apply for Divorce

Complete the divorce application, including a statement confirming the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Pay a fee of £593.

No need to cite specific reasons for divorce due to changes in the law. Allow 10 days for online applications or 1 month for postal applications.

5. Conditional Order

Once you apply for the divorce, the court sends the petition to the respondent and he or she is given a code to enter the online system or a form to complete to confirm that they have received the petition. The divorce unit requires evidence that the petition has been received. Sometimes this can cause delay if the respondent fails to respond. In that case, personal service of the petition may be required.

Once a response is received, the divorce unit sets a date after which you can apply for the conditional order. This is always 20 weeks after the response. It is aimed at providing a cooling off period to reflect on the decision.

The Conditional Order does not end the marriage but indicates the court’s willingness to proceed.

Once the conditional order is granted, you must wait at least 6 weeks before the divorce can be finalised.

6. Final Order

Apply for a Final Order 6 weeks or more after the Conditional Order.

Typically, it takes a few days to three weeks to receive the Final Order.

7. Factors Affecting the Divorce Timeline

Several factors can influence the speed of divorce proceedings, including:

  • Lack of response from Respondent
  • Delays in completing the application for conditional order.
  • If there are financial issues to resolve, your solicitor will usually advise that these are finalised before applying for the final order.

8. Speeding Up the Process

While personal efforts can help expedite the divorce process, unforeseen delays can still occur. Suggestions to speed up the process include:

  • Prompt and accurate paperwork submission.
  • Effective communication with your spouse.
  • Online divorce application.
  • Meeting document submission deadlines.
  • Utilising mediation or collaborative law.

Understanding how long a divorce takes and the various steps involved can help you navigate this challenging period in your life.

It is essential to focus on elements within your control and seek legal assistance or counselling if needed to manage the stress and uncertainties that can arise during divorce proceedings.

Why Choose Fountain Solicitors for Your Divorce?

Fountain Solicitors, with offices in Manchester, Newport Wales, Walsall, Birmingham, and other West Midlands areas, offers expert guidance in all aspects of Family Law.

With over 20 years of experience, their family law solicitors specialise in divorce and separation, financial settlements, and arrangements for children.

We emphasise non-confrontational dispute resolution, including mediation  to help you get through your divorce faster.

How we can help

By choosing Fountain Solicitors, you can have peace of mind knowing that your divorce will be handled efficiently, allowing you to focus on rebuilding your life.

To ensure your divorce proceeds smoothly and quickly, contact Fountain Solicitors today. Reach out to their experienced family law solicitors in West Midlands and Greater Manchester at 01922 645 429 or visit your local Fountain Solicitors office.

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