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Why is my divorce taking so long?

By , on Tuesday May 28, 2024 at 3:48 pm

Divorce can be a challenging experience at the best of times. So, it’s understandable that you would want to be sure that the process is as straightforward, efficient, and quick as possible.

Unfortunately, there are often several factors at play which could mean that a divorce takes longer than you would expect.

Our family law specialists have substantial experience in advising on the process of divorce, the timescales involved, and what you can do to ensure that you are able to achieve as quick a divorce as possible.

Why does a divorce take so long?

To establish why you may be experiencing what you may consider to be a ‘long ‘divorce, it is important to consider that there are some essential steps involved in the divorce process which must be followed.

If you are applying for a divorce, there are two separate waiting periods that you will need to observe before you are able to proceed to the next stage in the process. There is a 20-week waiting period before you can apply for a Conditional Order and a 6-week wait before you can apply for a Final Order. While these waiting periods may be frustrating, especially if you and your partner are keen to keep the process moving along, they cannot be avoided or fast-tracked. They are the same for everyone.

Aside from the process of making a divorce application, you will also need to separately come to a financial agreement and decide on arrangements for any children you have.

The amount of time it takes to make these arrangements largely depends on the complexity of your situation and the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement. If you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement between yourselves you will be able to move more quickly than if one or both parties take entrenched positions.

What can cause delays in a divorce?

There are various factors which could potentially extend the time it takes to get a divorce. These could include:

  • Mistakes in the divorce documentation
  • Family court delays caused by the volume of applications being received
  • Respondent not returning the Acknowledgement of Service
  • Having to convert a joint application into a sole application
  • Complex negotiations concerning finances or children

Working with an experienced divorce solicitor from the outset can help to minimise the potential for these issues to occur.

How long can a spouse drag out a divorce?

It is no longer possible to contest a divorce application. This means that intentionally delaying a divorce in the UK is difficult, aside from taking actions such as not returning the Acknowledgement of Service form within 14 days.

Making arrangements for your finances and children can be much more challenging if your spouse is uncooperative or intends to drag the process out. If you cannot come to an agreement through negotiation, it may be necessary to involve the courts, which can often be a lengthy process.

How long does it typically take to divorce in the UK?

With the divorce timelines in mind, it will typically take around six to eight months to complete a divorce application. You should bear in mind that it may take longer than this to make arrangements for your finances and children.

How can I get a quick divorce?

There’s no such thing as a quick divorce. The most sensible step you can take would be to work with a specialist divorce solicitor. They will be able to guide you through the process of making a divorce application from start to finish, ensuring that all the necessary documentation is completed in a timely and accurate fashion.

A divorce solicitor can help you with:

  • Completing your divorce application
  • Making sure you apply for the Conditional Order and Final Order promptly
  • Guidance through family mediation services as appropriate
  • Legal help with financial and childcare arrangements
  • Representation at court hearings if necessary

Our solicitors are here for you

If you are considering divorce and want to ensure that the process is as quick and painless as possible, our expert family law solicitors will be able to lend their support and provide you with all the information you need.

At Woolley & Co Solicitors, our expert divorce lawyers can offer specialist legal advice to guide you through a divorce. Whether you intend to make a sole or joint divorce application, we will be able to clearly explain what actions need to be taken and what you need to do to make sure that there are no unnecessary delays.

To take advantage of your free 30-minute consultation with an expert local family law solicitor, call 0800 321 3832 or complete our quick online form.

Rebecca Franklin
Divorce lawyer Birmingham

Blog Author - Rebecca Franklin

Rebecca FranklinRebecca Franklin

Rebecca is a divorce and family lawyer based in Birmingham.


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