In this post, we're going to explain how quickly it's possible to get a divorce. You'll find out exactly what you and your ex can do to ensure you're not slowing the process down for the fastest feasible divorce.
Sadly, some things we expect to last forever, don't. This can also ring true when it comes to relationships and unfortunately, marriages.
Divorce is not really something you want to rush into (in fact, a "quick divorce" is a bit of misnomer), but if you have tried to improve things in your marriage and you're both not happy or satisfied anymore, it may be best to call it a day.
Breaking up is never an easy thing to do whether it's your choice to do it, your ex's or it was an amicable decision you both agree on.
Ending a marriage, even if you haven't been together for years, can be an even more difficult and stressful process to go through. Divorce proceedings are considered to be one of the most stressful events anyone can go through in life. This is why so many people, like you, are looking for a way to have a quick divorce.
A quick 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 parties agree that the problems you face as a couple can't be rectified, and being able to file for a divorce online these days makes the process faster still.
Misconceptions and myths about getting divorced ‘easily and quickly’
There are a lot of misunderstandings surrounding quick divorces and indeed, the divorce process in general. Many people believe that there are different types of divorce relevant to the length of time you have been together.
There is no special rate or fee you can pay to speed a divorce up and how long a divorce takes really depends on how complicated each split is. The average time it takes to divorce if everything is straightforward is three to six months for the divorce and six months plus if you need to sort out your finances too.
While you may not be able to fast-track your divorce, there are measures you can take to speed the divorce process up:
- First and foremost, both you and your partner need to agree on the grounds for divorce.
- Agree that neither of you is going to contest the divorce (we explain why further down).
- If your husband or wife is no longer living with you, make sure you know their correct address. You need their current address so that the court can serve the divorce petition to them.
- Gather and submit relevant documents from both people within the set deadlines.
- Ensure you have a copy of the marriage certificate and that it's translated into English if you were married abroad.
- Complete the forms correctly without mistakes.
- Get support agreeing on childcare and financial arrangements if necessary, as this process usually slows your divorce down significantly.
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 get your divorce through and complete the process on average in between 20-26 weeks at the quickest.
Read our Pre-Divorce Checklist for all the things you'll need to consider for an amicable and quick divorce.
Divorcing amicably is the fastest way to separate
An uncontested divorce is the quickest and most common kind of divorce. Over 99% of all divorces and dissolutions in England or Wales are uncontested.
Being organised and diligent when completing the divorce forms will help ensure an amicable and quick divorce. But more importantly, you need to both 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.
Take a look at our divorce timeline and answer a few questions about your situation; we'll email you a rough estimate of how long your divorce will take. Alternatively, talk through your options with one of our divorce coaches by booking a free 15-minute advice call.
Our blog, 'how long does a divorce take?' provides information on the divorce process, the typical time it takes to divorce in the UK and some tips for speeding your divorce up.
Uncontested divorce - how to get a simple and quick divorce
One of the biggest benefits of having an uncontested divorce is the lower costs associated with this form of divorce.
You can start divorce proceeding in just minutes if you do it yourself or use one of amicable's divorce-diagnostic When you compare it to what it could cost you can save £1,000's or even more.
The legal divorce-diagnostic of a divorce lawyer are only required if there are any contentions to the divorce or danger signs. When you are in full agreement with one another, you can submit the appropriate documentation and paperwork to the court 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 quicker
When there are complications to the divorce or disagreements relating to 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.
Use our divorce diagnostic tool to help you understand the amicable service that is best for you. You can also book a free call with us today to discuss your options.
How to qualify for an uncontested divorce
As mentioned, an uncontested divorce may not be right for everyone reading this. For one thing, you need to both agree that your marriage is over and your ex (the respondent to the divorce petition) should not be interested in contesting it - which they have 28 days to do.
When there are shared finances and assets, it may be necessary to seek legal help to ensure both people get the fairest deal.
Above all else the most important requirements you need to qualify for an uncontested divorce are:
- You or your ex lives permanently in England or Wales, or you are domiciled in either country if you spend most of your time abroad
- You have a valid ground for divorce
- You have been married/in a civil partnership for at least 12 months
- You have an original copy of your marriage certificate in English
A brief guide to the divorce process
Divorcing online is one of the easiest ways to legally end your marriage or civil partnership. If you need help, amicable’s divorce divorce-diagnostic manages all the steps below and provides you with divorce experts to coach you through your divorce.
There are four basic steps to an uncontested or quick divorce (and a more comprehensive guide here):
Step One - Complete and submit a D8 divorce petition
You need to complete this form, even if your divorce is uncontested, including in it the grounds for divorce along with your marriage and personal contact details.
Step Two - Complete, sign and send the acknowledgement of service
The Respondent then needs to complete, sign and send this document back to the courts in order for the divorce to proceed.
Step Three - Complete a decree nisi application
The next step in the process is to complete an application for a decree nisi. This is the part in the process when the court pronounces your decree aka a judge reviews your application and either agrees or disagrees that the marriage is over.
Step Four - Complete a decree absolute application
he final step to complete for a quick divorce is to wait the mandatory six weeks and one day from your decree nisi pronouncement date, after this time frame you need to apply for a decree absolute to make the divorce official.
Make sure you don’t send the decree absolute 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 so follow the process and get expert help if needed.
You can visit our blog, What's a decree absolute , to find more information.
Does the respondent do anything?
The respondent, i.e. your ex-partner, won't have much of an active role in the divorce proceedings. Their response to the 'acknowledgement of service form', and whether they agree or disagree with the divorce petition, effectively decides how the rest of the divorce process will play out.
If you have any questions, or would like some support, please book a free 15-minute call with one of our experts here.
Can you get a divorce right away?
In the United Kingdom, due to the length of the court process, it is not possible to get divorced immediately. Divorce can be faster if it is uncontested and you are agreed on childcare and financial arrangements.
What’s the quickest you can get a divorce?
If you are both in a position to reach agreements and make decisions with your ex-partner this will help make the divorce process quicker. For example, agreeing on the finances, childcare and who will divorce who will help to speed up the process.
What is the quickest and cheapest way to get a divorce?
An uncontested divorce is the quickest way to legally separate.
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.
What happens when you file for divorce?
When you've decided you want a divorce, knowing what's going to happen when you file for one can feel daunting. Take a look at our How to file a divorce – a step-by-step UK guide which explains options you have when filing 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 file for divorce.