How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in the UK?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in the UK?

How long does a divorce take? How long do you have to be separated before divorce is automatic?

Kelly Grigg, a family lawyer at Richard Nelson LLP, outlines how long it takes to get a divorce in the UK.

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Richard Nelson LLP is a leading firm for 2021, part of the legal 500. Our family lawyers have been accredited by the Law Society for Family Law and Children Law.


How long does a divorce take?

Often people are surprised that a divorce usually takes between 6-12 months to conclude as the media frequently reports on celebrities that have managed to get divorced overnight. For most people, this is not possible as one of the stages of the divorce allows for a cooling-off period of 6 weeks and 1 day.

Such cooling off period takes place between you proving the grounds for a divorce (known as the Decree Nisi) and you being able to apply for your divorce to be finalised (known as the Decree Absolute).

In most circumstances, a client will be advised to hold off finalising the divorce until financial matters have been resolved. If you finalise the divorce too quickly, you may be preventing yourself from being able to obtain the best financial outcome and can have an impact on certain assets such as pensions.

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