How do you get a quick divorce? amicable's tips on how to speed up your divorce

quick divorce spelt with wooden blocks
Originally published on 24th January 2020 at 1:13 PM

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 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. 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.
  • You also need to agree that neither of you are going to contest the divorce (we explain why further down)
  • If your spouse is no longer living with you, you need to make sure you know their correct address. You need this information, not just for forms and documents further down the line but so that a divorce petition can be served to them.
  • Making sure all relevant documents from both parties is gathered and submitted within the set deadlines
  • Making sure you have your marriage certificate available, and that it's been translated into English if you were married abroad.
  • Ensure that both parties have completed the forms correctly without mistakes before they send them back.
  • If you have a financial situation you both can't agree on, then the right legal support will be needed to provide the advice and support you may need. Unfortunately, this process usually slows your divorce down significantly, especially if it ends up in court.

If you come across a divorce service that claims it can help you get divorced in under 12 weeks, you have to realise this is not 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.

An amicable divorce is generally the fastest

An uncontested divorce is the name given to the quickest and most common kind of divorce. In fact, over 99% of all divorces filed for in England or Wales are uncontested.

Being efficient and diligent with completing the forms is the best way to ensure a quick, inexpensive and amicable way to get a 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 you ex are ready. 

Although it's not going to be right for everyone, if you can come to agreement you will save a lot of stress, anxiety and misery for both parties when getting a divorce.

This is what our divorce service is built on.

Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce

Lower Cost

Probably one of the biggest benefits of having an uncontested divorce is the lower costs associated with this form of divorce.

A divorce can be started in just minutes if you do it yourself of use one of amicable's services and when you compare it to what it could cost you going a more traditional route, you may save £1,000's or even more.

Generally, the legal services of a solicitor 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.

Can Reach a Resolution Quicker

It's been mentioned before but it is worth highlighting again that when there are contentions to a divorce or disagreements of any kind, it can take a long time. An uncontested divorce, however, can be resolved quicker, causing less stress and anxiety in the process.

More Amicable

There is this view many people have of divorces being bitter and all about fights over money, possessions and even the raising of any children that resulted from the marriage. While this is true of many, not all divorces have to be like that.

Particularly if children are involved, an uncontested divorce may be the best decision to ensure that there is as little bitterness and that you and your partner can continue co-parenting your children together, albeit living separately.

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 out some legal help to ensure both parties get the fairest deal.

Above all else the most important requirements you need to qualify for an uncontested divorce are:

  • England or Wales is your permanent home, or you are domiciled in either country if you spend most of your time abroad
  • Have valid and reasonable grounds for divorce
  • Your marriage has lasted for at least 12 months
  • An original copy of your marriage certificate, in English

A Guide to the Process in Brief

An online divorce is one of the easiest ways to dissolve an unsuccessful marriage. It's even easier if you use our done-for-you divorce service which takes care of all the steps below and provides you with divorce experts to coach you through your case.

There are three basic steps to an uncontested or quick divorce (and a more comprehensive guide here):

Step 1 - 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 2 - Complete, sign and send of 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 3 - 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 4 - Complete a Decree Absolute Application

The 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. Be careful not to 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 make sure you follow the process and get expert help if needed.

Does the Respondent Do Anything?

Although technically it would seem the respondent, i.e. your ex-partner doesn't have much of an active role in the divorce proceedings. Their inactivity, besides responding quickly, is what helps the proceedings go through quickly without any hassle.

It is their response to the 'Acknowledgement of Service Form', and whether they agree or disagree with the divorce petition, that effectively decides how the rest of the divorce process will play out.

When you both obtain your decree absolute, then you are officially divorced.

It is important to note, and why we suggest you seek out legal advice and help for those aspects of the marriage, that your finances and childcare arrangements will need to be sorted separately to the divorce paperwork.

If you have any questions, or would like some support, please book a free 15-minute call with one of our experts here.

Find the right service for you

About the author

Hannah Hodgkinson is Head of Marketing at amicable. Hannah has over six years experience working for global NGOs and private consultancies and has a passion for marketing for companies with a social purpose

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