Legal Q&A: I would like to get a quick divorce. How long will it take?

A. There are various stages to getting a divorce. The first stage is to issue divorce proceedings by filing the Divorce Petition at Court along with the Court fee of £550 and your marriage certificate.  

The Court will then issue the sealed Petition and send it to the Respondent who will thereafter need to complete and file an Acknowledgement of Service within 7 working days of receiving it. This document will confirm whether or not the Respondent intends to defend the divorce. After receiving the Acknowledgement of Service, and provided the Respondent does not intend to defend the divorce, the Petitioner may apply for the first stage of the divorce, namely Decree Nisi. Upon receipt of this application, the Court will then set a date for pronouncement of Decree Nisi. 

The final Order of divorce, Decree Absolute, can then be applied for 6 weeks and 1 day from the date of pronouncement of Decree Nisi. Once Decree Absolute has been received by both Petitioner and Respondent, this is the final stage and the parties are officially and formally divorced. Alongside these proceedings of course are matters relating to the matrimonial finances and it is advisable not to apply for Decree Absolute until these have been resolved. The overall timescale therefore for a divorce can be anything from 4 to 12 months or more. 

If you would like further advice, please contact Alex Hartnoll at Hegarty Solicitors on 01733 295 622 or email alex.hartnoll@hegarty.co.uk