How long does it take to get a divorce?

How long does it take to get a divorce


There is no such thing as a “quick divorce” in England and Wales. The time it takes varies, depending on the circumstances of the divorce as well as any backlog at the Court. In the best case, a divorce could be granted in 3 months.  But typically with a consent order, it takes around 5-6 months.

There are a number of things that determine how long a divorce is likely to take. E.g. if both parties agree to the divorce, there are no children to consider and there are no finances to divide, then the divorce process will be much quicker. However, if one party is going delays in sending their form to the court,  then this will inevitably take longer.


In this blog post, we talk about the divorce timescales, but here is a summary:

  1.  Send divorce petition to court (typically up to 2 weeks).
  2. Your spouse (the Respondent) needs to complete, sign and return the Acknowledgement of Service form to the court. (typically up to 2 weeks)
  3. Once the Acknowledgement of Service form has been received, an application for decree nisi, together with a statement in support will be submitted to court. On approval of the paperwork, the court will fix a hearing date for declaration of the decree nisi of divorce. Neither of you will need to attend this hearing as the court will post the decree nisi of divorce to you afterward. (typically up to 4-6 weeks)
  4. The decree absolute can be applied for after a minimum of six weeks and one day from the date of the decree nisi.  On the pronouncement of the decree absolute of divorce,  the marriage will be dissolved.

However, we do not recommend stage 4, until any financial settlement (if appropriate) has the approval of the courts.  In short, this is to ensure that both your financial interests are protected, before the application of the decree absolute.

NOTE Update 8th October 2018:  Please note.  Certain Divorce centres are taking longer than others to process petitions and other paperwork. This can sometime add 4-6 weeks to the times above.

How long does it take to get a divorce? was last modified: November 12th, 2018 by John Fuller

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