How long does it take to get divorced?

One of the most common questions we get asked is how long will it take to get divorced? The truth is that the time it takes between issuing a divorce petition and receiving the decree absolute can vary depending on a number of factors. On average however, we find that an uncontested divorce can take around 6 months.

As long as you have been married for at least 12 months, either party can file a divorce petition.

As the law currently stands, the actual divorce process, if uncontested, will take the same amount of time regardless what fact you have relied upon. but there are a few ways to try and speed up and smooth out the process

  1. Agree the reason for the divorce with your spouse

If you and your spouse are on amicable terms, and you are both in agreement about divorcing, then it can be sensible to agree who is going to petition, and on what fact they will rely upon. This means no surprises for the respondent spouse. If the parties are not in agreement then the process can take longer and become more difficult.

  1. Take legal advice

It is important that both parties take legal advice early on to understand the divorce process and assist in drafting and filing the petition. A solicitor will also help you to understand how the divorce lines up with sorting out the finances.

  1. Begin mediation

The divorce process itself can usually be unproblematic. Complications often arise when the parties begin discussing splitting assets and arrangements for the children. We usually advise parties to try mediation as a way to negotiate finances and children matters. The earlier these discussions can begin the quicker the parties can reach an agreement.

From April 2022, the new divorce process is due to be implemented which drastically changes the current divorce law. One of the changes, along with no longer requiring to use a ‘fact’ to prove the break down of the marriage, it that there will be a set time scale whereby the parties cannot apply for the Decree Nisi (which will be called the Conditional Order) until 20 weeks after the petition has been issued, creating a ‘period of reflection’. Along with the 20 weeks, the rule will still remain that you cannot apply for a Decree Absolute (which will be called a Final Order) until 6 weeks has lapsed from the Decree Nisi/Conditional Order.

If you would like advice on divorce , finances or other family matters, please contact Danielle on 01243 790 532 or email

This blog is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.