Going through a divorce can be a challenging and emotionally turbulent time for anyone. Amidst the emotional upheaval, it's essential to understand the process's practical aspects clearly.
A common question when considering a divorce is, "How long does it take to get a divorce in the UK?".
Understanding the timeline involved can help you navigate the process more effectively and make informed decisions.
In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of divorce proceedings in the UK and shed light on the factors that influence the timeline.
Whether you're contemplating a divorce, in the midst of the process, or simply seeking information, this guide will provide valuable insights into the duration of divorce proceedings in the UK.
Applying for Divorce in the UK
The journey towards divorce in the UK begins with the crucial step of applying for a divorce.
This initial stage sets the foundation for the entire process and involves several important considerations.
Whether you choose to navigate the divorce application yourself or seek legal advice, understanding the intricacies of this stage is vital to ensure a smooth transition into the subsequent phases.
Applying for a divorce in the UK can be done individually or jointly with your spouse through the UK government's online divorce portal.
Some individuals prefer to handle the application process independently, while others opt for professional assistance to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
The time it takes to apply for a divorce and reach the finalisation stage may vary, depending on factors such as your familiarity with the process, the division of finances, and arrangements for any children involved.
Initiating the Divorce Application
Once you submit your divorce application online, it will be reviewed.
If everything is in order, both parties will receive a notice confirming the issuance of the application.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (the court) will stamp a copy of your application to acknowledge its receipt.
Your divorce application will be assigned a unique case number, and you will have to wait for 20 weeks before either you or your spouse can apply for a conditional order.
Responding to the Divorce Application
Suppose you filed for divorce alone (not jointly with your spouse).
In that case, your spouse must respond to the application within 14 days by completing an Acknowledgement of Service form.
This form indicates whether they agree with the divorce or intend to dispute it.
Agreement and Conditional Order Application
If both parties agree to the divorce, the application can proceed, and the applicant can apply for a conditional order (formerly known as a decree nisi).
However, you must still wait 20 weeks from the date the divorce application was initially made before reaching this stage.
Disputed Divorce Application
In the case of a disputed divorce application, the party contesting the divorce must provide a legal explanation for their objection.
Simply stating, "I don't want to get divorced" is not a valid reason.
The explanation should include legal grounds, such as disputing the marriage's validity or denying the marital status.
Applying for a Conditional Order
Assuming the divorce application proceeds and the 20-week waiting period has elapsed, you can apply for a conditional order (or decree nisi under the old divorce system) through the online divorce portal.
Once this application is made, both parties will receive a certificate specifying the date and time when the court will grant the conditional order.
Waiting for the Final Order
After receiving the conditional order, you must wait 43 days (six[ weeks and one day) before applying for a final order (or decree absolute under the old divorce system). This final order will legally terminate your marriage.
Summary: How Long Can A Divorce Take In The UK?
In conclusion, understanding the timeline for getting a divorce in the UK is essential for anyone going through this challenging process.
While the duration can vary depending on individual circumstances, a general estimate suggests that a divorce in the UK typically takes around 4 to 6 months to finalise.
Factors such as the complexity of the case, any disputes that may arise, and the parties' efficiency can influence the timeline.
A no-fault divorce allows for a smoother and less acrimonious separation, focusing on the dissolution of the marriage rather than assigning blame.
When financial ties are involved, careful consideration must be given to the fair division of assets, businesses, and joint finances. For detailed information on this matter, please read our blog about how financial assets can be divided.
Similarly, child arrangements must prioritise the well-being and best interests of the children, determining child arrangements, residence, and financial support.
Contact Our Divorce Solicitors
At Monan Gozzett, our dedicated team of family lawyers understands the complexities and sensitivities surrounding divorce in the UK.
We provide expert guidance and compassionate support throughout the process, ensuring your rights are protected, and you can make well-informed decisions.
We aim to help you navigate the divorce journey efficiently, minimising stress and achieving a positive outcome.
If you require professional assistance or further information on the duration of a divorce in the UK, financial settlements, child arrangements, or any other related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team.
We are here to offer you the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.