How long it takes depends on a number of factors. If you are able to swiftly come to terms with your partner without having to go to Court, then it is possible that the whole process can be completed within 6 months. However, if you struggle to reach an agreement and there are a number of issues to resolve or the input of the Court is required, the process can take much longer, sometimes, up to 2 years.
There is one ground for divorce, that is, that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. It is then necessary to rely on 1 of 5 facts :-
- Unreasonable behaviour- this is the conduct by you or your partner that is deemed sufficient to cause the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage
- Adultery- voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person of the opposite sex who is not their spouse
- Living apart for 2 years and both parties agree to the divorce
- Living apart for 5 years
- Desertion for at least 2 years – where one partner leaves the other without their knowledge or agreement
Usually the fact relied on to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and/or the guilt of either party does not influence the financial settlement or the arrangements for any children but each case is decided on its own facts.
The length of time the divorce process takes to conclude depends on how you and your partner respond to each other’s demands and also whether the Respondent indicates that they are defending the divorce. If the divorce is contested the process is slowed down considerably.
You can agree financial arrangements with your partner whenever you want. However, if you want such arrangements to be formalised in an order approved by the Court then this cannot take place until the Decree Nisi has been pronounced. Often you will be advised only to make your divorce Absolute once financial matters have been agreed.
Children arrangements are usually negotiated throughout the process.
You may have to go to Court if you are unable to come to any form of agreement with your partner. However, you are both required to try and reach agreement regarding child arrangements and financial matters before applying to the Court. RJT Solicitors can help you and your partner to try and reach an agreement, which may include putting you in touch with trained mediators who can assist you and your partner discussing your situation in an open and constructive way.
It is generally cheaper to reach agreement yourselves with our help and the assistance of a mediator, where necessary, than going to Court, which can make the situation less stressful for all concerned, which is a particularly important consideration where children are involved.
If none of the out of Court processes work, we will ensure that you have the best legal representation in Court. We will be open and honest about the likely outcome and we will always act in your best interests. We will ensure that you are always well prepared for any court hearings and we will be there with you every step of the way.