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Guides / The Divorce Process / how long will my divorce take

Part 11
how long will my divorce take?
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what factors can elongate the stages of divorce?

Put simply, divorce is not going to be a quick process. Each individual stage of divorce comes with its own specific timeline, which predominantly involves waiting for forms and agreements to be returned from the courts. Despite these timelines, there will undoubtedly be factors that contribute to the length of divorce. For example, the pandemic has elongated divorce proceedings greatly, due to delays from the courts. Other factors that can impact the length of divorce include:


  • Complex child arrangements
  • Complex financial or property arrangements
  • Disputes between partners or refusal to cooperate
  • Mistakes in forms, such as incorrect details or mistakes in forms

How can i speed up the stages of divorce?

No divorce will ever be “quick”, no matter how amicably your relationship ended. However,  there are a few tips and methods that can ease the process and prevent further issues. These could include:


  • If you and your spouse agree on the divorce and the reasons behind it before the petition is sent off
  • If a lawyer completes your D8 petition form instead of you filling it in yourself
  • Gather any necessary evidence prior to starting the process, for example, your marriage certificate.
  • Double, triple check all of your information on your divorce form and make sure there are no mistakes.
  • If you can, maintain a good and communicative relationship with your ex-spouse. This can speed up filling in and returning paperwork (and in some cases can aid in making sure the divorce process is not contested).
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how long does Each Stage of Divorce Take?

When you apply for divorce, you first need to fill in the divorce petition form (D8). Sending it off to be reviewed can take anywhere between 6-10 weeks. It’s at this beginning stage that the divorce petition can be rejected if the information has been incorrectly completed, which can add even more time to the divorce.

Your partner will then need to respond to the petition, either accepting or refusing it, and the length of this step is dictated by which response the Petitioner receives. If the Respondent accepts the petition, the court will let you know; if they accept, you will need to wait 2-4 weeks before you can apply for the Decree Nisi.

Sending off your application for the Decree Nisi, having it reviewed, accepted by a Judge and sent back to you, can take anywhere between 6-8 weeks. You will be told the “pronouncement date” of your Decree Nisi, which will be after your “cooling off period” (a minimum of 6 weeks and 1 day later).

After you have received your Decree Nisi, you can apply for your Decree Absolute. This will take the court approximately 2 days to send you the document. Based on these approximate figures alone, an uncontested divorce could take between 5-7 months to complete.


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