How can I divorced quickly?
It takes two to marry, two to tango and two to divorce, that is, if you want to divorce quickly.
To have a very quick divorce in the UK, you will need your other half’s cooperation. This is why we encourage divorcing couples to seek agreement with each other where possible. Not only does this make divorce quicker, if it also keeps the cost down, and it keeps it less stressful for everyone, including children involved.
Cooperation is needed because the spouse applying for the divorce arranges for the divorce petition (papers) to be served (sent) to their spouse. Their spouse, who becomes known as the respondent, must respond to the papers and return them to the court. Once done, the applicant can then apply for the decree nisi, from which stage completing the divorce becomes a simple administrative exercise.
What not to do (if you want a quick divorce)
We often have clients who want to file for divorce, but they haven’t told their partner. This carries some risks. The first is that their partner ignores the divorce petition when they receive it. The respondent has seven days to acknowledge the divorce petition and send it back to the court. If 14 days pass and the acknowledgement of service still hasn’t been received, then the most effective next step is to apply for a court bailiff or process server to serve the divorce petition on your spouse. When the petition is served in this way, an affidavit or witness statement provides proof of service to the court. While this is an incredibly useful service, it does have both a financial and time cost.
The second risk is that your spouse receives the paperwork but decides to defend the divorce. We won’t go into details here, but the time delay is at least 28 days to give your spouse time to respond with their reasons, but this can turn into months if your divorce goes to trial. Only grounds of five years separation don’t require consent, but even then, your spouse could frustrate proceedings by denying that five years have passed.
So what can you do for a quick divorce?
First, the respondent has seven days to acknowledge the divorce petition. To process the divorce quickly, make sure your spouse knows when it’s due to arrive. Then, when they receive it, they can complete it and return it to the courts immediately, reducing the divorce time by at least two weeks (but often longer).
Another frequent error of judgement we see is that the applicant prepares a damning set of allegations about their spouse. Of course, this may be true, and it may be necessary to write these allegations, but if your objective is a quick divorce so that you can get on with your life, it is better to use claims that your spouse will find palatable and easy to accept.
In most cases, break ups tend to follow a similar path and the resulting patterns of behaviour – break down of communication, intimacy, and affection are perfectly valid reasons in the court’s eyes.
The benefits of reaching agreement
Divorce is undoubtedly challenging, but it doesn’t have to be painfully so. If you can reach an agreement with your spouse that its time to divorce and the reasons for it, you can divorce quickly, at a low cost and without stress and conflict. That is how a divorce with Easy Online Divorce can take only four months, compared to the England and Wales average of 53 weeks. We can help you find the right balance to get your unreasonable behaviour claim over the line and provide mediation services in more challenging situations.
If you would like to discuss this or if you have a question about divorce in general, email us, call us on 0204 530 8101 or schedule a call back below.