How quickly can I get a divorce?

    How quickly can I get a divorce?

    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?

    With the implementation of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 on 6 April 2022, all divorce procedure will take at least 26 weeks from the date of the issue of the application until the date of the final order.

    • 20 weeks after the application has been made, the conditional order can be granted, at which stage the court has jurisdiction to make financial orders.
    • Then there is a further wait of 6 weeks and 1 day before the final order can be granted.

    As part of the political negotiations surrounding the implementation of a no-fault divorce process, it was decided to bring in a 20 week period of reflection to enable the parties to consider whether or not they really did wish to be divorced. Also, it allows them to try and reach agreement with regard to the arrangements for children and to try and settle future financial arrangements.

    Should I wait to apply for the final order?

    Although the divorce process now has a more set timeframe, there may well be reasons to delay an application for the final order if future financial arrangements have not been settled. Once the final order is granted and parties are divorced, automatic rights in relation to inheritance and pension benefits cease. So it is even more vital that those with assets seek early independent legal advice to ensure that their interests are protected.

    Read more: What is a clean break order in divorce?

    It is usual to delay applying for the final order 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.

    We have specialist family lawyers to advise on all aspects of relationship breakdown, including divorce, separation and the resolution of financial and children matters. For more information, please contact our Family Law Team who would be happy to advise you.

    Are you considering getting a divorce? Download our free guide and find out the six key decisions you need to make.

    6 key decisions for a successful divorce - download your free guide

    [Originally published in October 2018; updated on 8 April 2022]

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