How often have you read in the news about celebrities and footballers achieving a “quickie divorce”? In fact, there is no such thing – not even for the rich and famous.
How long does a divorce take?
How long the divorce takes depends on the demands of the Court, and how quickly papers can be turned around. It also depends on how quickly your spouse completes and returns the Acknowledgment of Service. This is the document that they have to return to inform the Court that they have received your divorce petition and raise no objection to the divorce.
It is possible to achieve a divorce within about 6 months, provided you and your spouse actively engage in the process and return documents to the Court promptly.
Are there any fixed timescales in the divorce process?
Once a divorce petition is sent to the Court there are timescales which have to be adhered to. For example, on receipt of the Decree Nisi (the first of the two Decrees in the divorce) there is a period of 6 weeks and 1 day before you can apply for your Decree Absolute, the document which formally ends the marriage. This timetable cannot, except in exceptional circumstances, be changed.
Are there any disadvantages to getting a quick divorce?
You may think obtaining a divorce as quickly as you can is the best outcome but this is not always the case. It is common practice to start the divorce process and then to seek to resolve future financial arrangements whilst the divorce goes through the various stages.
However, there may be very good reasons not to apply to finalise the divorce until financial arrangements are settled. For example, preserving automatic rights in relation to pension benefits, which cease on the granting of the Decree Absolute.
So, it is usual to delay apply for the Decree Absolute until a Court order has been obtained, hopefully by agreement, settling future financial arrangements. This may extend the timeframe, sometimes considerably, but you will have the peace of mind of knowing that all matters have been resolved before rights that arise by reason of your marriage are brought to an end.
We're here for you
Remember, obtaining a divorce does not automatically resolve the financial arrangements between you and your spouse. As experts, we can guide you through your divorce to ensure that it is done in the best way to protect you, which is not always the quickest way.
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