Wondering how long does it take to get divorced in the UK? A divorce process will take at least six months in the country. It’s because there are two waiting periods in a typical UK divorce. There’s a 20-week frame between the divorce application and the conditional order. Then, you have to wait for six weeks for the conditional order to be granted and apply for the final order. Moreover, the length of your divorce will also be determined based on your financial affairs and other factors.

Here are all the steps involved in a divorce process that determines how long it takes to get divorced in the UK:

Applying for a Divorce

Firstly, you need to send your divorce application to the court. On the petition, you will need to write your and your partner’s full name and address and provide proof of your marriage certificate. You can apply separately or with your partner as a joint applicant. If you apply separately, your partner will be the respondent. The application will cost you £593; you can share that cost when making a joint application. Apply online for a quicker process.

The Acknowledgement of Service

If you apply for divorce independently, your partner will receive an acknowledgment of service that they must return within 14 days. If you apply jointly, you will both receive a copy of the divorce application and an acknowledgement receipt that you don’t need to respond to. The joint process will be quicker.

The Cooling Off Period

Next, your divorce application will enter a 20-week cooling-off period in which you can reflect on your decision and discuss pertinent matters, such as division of finances and child arrangements.

Application for a Conditional Order

If your divorce process began before 6 April 2022, you would be subjected to the old divorce laws of decree nisi and decree absolute. However, if your process began after that, you will need to apply for a conditional order, a document that states the court sees no reason to object to your divorce.

You can apply for this order online or via post 20 weeks after your divorce application. You and your partner will receive a Certificate of Entitlement, which will detail when you will receive your conditional order. The order can take many weeks to arrive.

The Final Order Application

You can apply for the final order after six weeks and one day of getting the conditional order. The final order will lawfully end your marriage, enabling you to marry again. But it will not end your financial commitments to your ex. You will have to draft a financial order for that.

Sorting Out Finances & Child Arrangements

Sorting out marital assets and child arrangements should ideally be done before the final order. You can agree with your spouse on how to split the finances and make the agreement legally binding through a financial order. It might take six months to a year. Similarly, if you have children, you will need to determine whom they will live with and who will bear their expenses.

Talk to a Divorce Lawyer

Now that you know how long it takes to get divorced in the UK, you should seek the expertise of a divorce attorney and mediator to ensure your divorce and related financial settlement and child custody matters wrap up quickly and in your favour. Ideally, with quick mediation, your divorce settlement will be quicker and smoother. A qualified divorce lawyer can guide you on the best way forward, depending on your circumstances.