How quick can you get a divorce?
In this post, we're going to explain how quickly you can get a divorce and whether it is possible for you to speed up the divorce process. You'll find out exactly what you and your ex can do to ensure you're not preventing a fast divorce.
Ending a marriage, even if you haven't been together for years, can be a difficult and stressful process to go through. Divorce proceedings are considered to be some of the most stressful events anyone can go through. This is why so many people are looking for a way to have a quick divorce.
A fast divorce will mean different things to different people and may or may not be possible, depending on the timeline you've got in mind.
The fastest possible divorce requires that both people agree that the problems you face as a couple can't be rectified. Also, being able to submit for a divorce online makes the process fast; divorce applications through the post are slower and prevent a quick divorce.
Misconceptions and myths about getting divorced ‘quick and easy’
There are a lot of misunderstandings surrounding quick divorces and the divorce process in general. There is no special route or fee you can pay to guarantee a fast divorce. How long a divorce takes really depends on how complicated your divorce is.
How quick can you get a divorce?
Since the introduction of no-fault divorce in England and Wales, the minimum a divorce will take is seven months. Divorces submitted before the change in law take, on average, three to six months. You can request a divorce timeline for a more accurate and personalised estimate of how long your divorce will take.
Is it possible to “fast-track” the process to secure a quick divorce?
While you may not be able to “fast-track” your divorce, there are measures you can take to speed the divorce process up which comparatively, will lead to a fast divorce:
- Firstly, you need to decide whether you will submit for divorce together or make a sole application.
- If you're making a sole application and your husband or wife is no longer living with you, make sure you know their current address. You need this so the court can serve them with the necessary paperwork for divorce.
- Gather and submit relevant documents from both of you before the set deadlines.
- Ensure you have a copy of the marriage certificate and that it's translated into English if you were [married abroad](https://amicable.io/marriage-certificate-translations-for-uk-divorce-proceedings).
- Complete the forms correctly without mistakes or get help by using a service like [amicable](https://amicable.io/divorce-diagnostic).
- If necessary, you should seek support agreeing on childcare and financial arrangements, as these agreements usually slow everything down preventing a fast divorce process.
IMPORTANT: If you come across a divorce service that claims it can help you get divorced in under 12 weeks, know that this isn't possible in England or Wales.
If all of the above criteria are met and the documents are handed in on time, the reality is that you can finalise your divorce in a minimum of seven months (if you are divorcing after the 6th of April with the introduction of no-fault divorce).
Read our Pre-Divorce Checklist for all the things you'll need to consider for an amicable and quick divorce.
"What if we're amicable?"
Being organised and diligent when completing the divorce forms will help ensure an amicable and fast divorce. But more importantly, you both need to be emotionally ready to divorce.
Read our advice for support on understanding if you and/or your ex are ready to start the divorce process. You can also use our emotional readiness tool which can give you an idea of the stage you are at.
Our blog, 'how long does a divorce take?' provides information on the divorce process, the typical time it takes to divorce in England and Wales as well as highlighting tips for achieving that fast divorce.
A brief guide to the divorce process
Divorcing online is one of the easiest ways to legally end your marriage or civil partnership. Not only that but divorcing online also leads to a relatively quick divorce compared to divorcing by post. If you need help, amicable’s divorce services manage all the steps below and provides you with Divorce Specialists to guide you every step of the way.
There are four basic steps to an uncontested or quick divorce (full guide here):
Step One: Complete and submit a divorce application
You need to complete this form either online or by post. You can make a joint or sole application for divorce.
Step Two: Wait for the reflection period and for your ex to complete, sign and send the acknowledgement of service
If you made a sole application, then your ex will need to complete, sign and send this document back to the courts in order for the divorce to proceed. This can be done online if you started the divorce using the online system.
Step Three: Complete a conditional order application
The next step of the process is to complete the application for a conditional order. This is the part of the process when a judge reviews your application and either agrees or disagrees that the marriage is over. Once the judge has agreed that you can divorce or end your civil partnership, you can submit your financial settlement (also called consent order) to the court so that your financial agreements are made legally binding. This step isn't mandatory, but it is recommended, get in touch with us for help.
Step Four: Complete a final order application
The final step to complete for a quick divorce is to wait the mandatory six weeks and one day from your conditional order pronouncement date. After this period, you need to apply for a final order to make the divorce official. Make sure you don’t send the final order application to the court before the six weeks and one day has passed as the courts are likely to send your application back. This will just slow things down and prevent a fast divorce, so follow the process and get expert help if needed.
Uncontested divorce - an easy guide for how to get a quick divorce
One of the biggest benefits of having an uncontested divorce is that typically, it costs a lot less.
You can start divorce proceedings in just minutes if you do-it-yourself or use one of amicable's services. Our services are typically 10 times cheaper than going to court, a third of the cost of a lawyer and half the cost of mediation.
Using a divorce lawyer is only required if there are any contentions to the divorce or danger signs. When you are both in full agreement, you can submit the appropriate documentation and paperwork to the court yourselves and save lots of money, time and hassle.
Read our blog how much does divorce cost? to get a better understanding of the costs involved for a quick divorce.
If you're looking to separate rather than divorce, our separation agreement guide provides more information and costs.
Reach a resolution faster
When there are complications to the divorce, or there are disagreements over childcare or finances, it can take a long time. An uncontested divorce is quicker and causes less stress and anxiety to all those involved.
amicable's divorce-diagnostic can help you figure out how you're going to split your finances, co-parent your children and legalise your separation. Get in touch for support.
amicable has helped thousands of couples to separate amicably. Our approach focuses on creating positive futures for separating couples, helping you move on rather than dwelling on the past.
If children are involved, an uncontested divorce is always the best approach to ensure that you and your ex-partner can continue co-parenting your children together, albeit living separately. An uncontested divorce will also result in a comparatively quick divorce when contrasted against an acrimonious divorce, which tends to be drawn out for a while.
Speak to a Divorce Coach
Book a free 15-minute call with an amicable expert. Understand the process, how long it may take, how much it can cost and what your options are.
You can join the call alone or together.
What you need to start the process
- You or your ex must be permanently living in England or Wales, or you are domiciled in either country if you spend most of your time abroad
- You must have been married/in a civil partnership for at least 12 months
- You must have an original copy of your marriage certificate in English
Can you get divorced without using a solicitor?
In short, yes. However, this depends on your circumstances, and it may alter which option is right for you. There are situations where a solicitor or lawyer may be the most appropriate option.
Can you get a quick divorce right away?
In the England and Wales, due to the length of the court process, it is not possible to get divorced immediately.
What’s the quickest you can get a divorce?
An uncontested divorce is the quickest way to legally separate.
What is the cheapest way to get a divorce?
The cheapest way to get a divorce depends on the method you choose and how much help you need. Complete our divorce diagnostic, to help you understand the amicable service that is best for you. If you don’t have any money, but want a divorce, you can use the government website and apply for the help with fees scheme.
What happens when you submit for divorce?
When you've decided you want a divorce, knowing what's going to happen when you submit for one can feel daunting. Take a look at our How to submit a divorce – a step-by-step UK guide which explains the options you have when submitting for divorce or dissolution and the divorce process.
Can I do my divorce myself?
If your situation is straightforward, and you feel comfortable with managing the divorce process yourself. It is possible to file the divorce or dissolution paperwork yourself using the government website. Find out more information by reading our guide on how to apply for divorce.
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No-fault divorce is coming to England and Wales in April 2022. Find out everything you need to know here.