How long does a divorce take?

In April 2022 changes to the divorce procedure were implemented. There was a lot of coverage in the media about the introduction of No Fault Divorce. Another change that perhaps was not publicised as widely was the introduction of mandatory timescales.

Once a divorce is issued by the family court a timetable starts to run. There is no such thing in law as a “quickie divorce”.

The application for a conditional order can only be made 20 weeks after the divorce is issued. This is known as a mandatory cooling-off period. The application for a final order can only be made at least 6 weeks and 1 day after the conditional order is granted.

This means a divorce cannot conclude in less than 26 weeks. In practice, it will take longer as the family court processes the applications and this can add a number of weeks onto that timescale.

What can affect the timescale of a divorce application?

The timescale can also be affected by other aspects of the case in particular negotiations regarding a financial settlement. Divorce is the dissolution of the marriage following separation but there are a number of other significant issues to consider. This includes negotiating a financial settlement. Decisions will need to be made about what happens to the family home, savings, pensions, businesses etc.

Whilst a divorce is now completed via an online process known as the divorce portal it is still a legal process involving the court and family judges. It is vital that the correct procedure is followed, and that the correct information and documents are uploaded to the portal at the appropriate time. A family law solicitor has the knowledge and experience to advise on and assist with this process from the start.

Find out more about the divorce process

Please do not hesitate to contact the Family Law team at Browell Smith & Co if you require any advice and assistance in relation to Divorce or any other family-related issues.

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