How long does a quick divorce take if we both agree?

by Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The national average time for a divorce if you both agree was 33 weeks in 2014, according to the UK Government Ministry of Justice.

The Government introduced regional Divorce Centres in 2015, which were designed to simplify the process and speed up divorce cases.

The reverse has happened and practitioners are reporting massive delays at all divorce centres as they struggle to cope with the quantity of divorce cases being filed.

At, as at December 2015 the average time for an agreed, amicable divorce using our managed divorce service is 22 weeks weeks on average.

One of the major questions we get on the phones at Divorce Online, is “how long is my divorce going to take, we both agree to it, it should be quicker?”.

It appears to be THE major consideration for people when they are getting divorced online.

The problem is that every divorce goes through the same procedure in every court, so whether it is agreed or not actually does not matter.

99% of all divorces filed are undefended so the fact that your divorce is agreed won’t help you get it processed any quicker.

How long is it between the filing of a divorce petition and  a decree absolute?

The normal divorce process for the rest of us is actually quite slow and boring and depending on where you live can take up to 4 months to get a decree nisi and 12 months for the decree absolute.

The average time for a divorce to reach decree absolute in England and Wales was 33 weeks in the first half of 2014 according to the Office For National Statistics.

It is now the reason for this is austerity and cuts to the court service and the withdrawal of legal aid from 99% of private family law cases, meaning every court is dealing with people attempting to run their own divorce, custody and access proceedings, creating massive delays which knock on to even the simplest of divorces.

All divorces are now processed at regional divorce centers rather than in your local county court.

Beware of “Quickie Divorce “websites who say they can divorce you in weeks!

To be frank, some highly dubious, so called “quickie divorce” websites advertise a 12 week divorce if you agree, but this is nearly impossible in 2014 for the reasons we have already given in this blog post.

Telling potential customers that your divorce can be completed in 12 weeks is misleading with a more accurate time for the average divorce is closer to 22 weeks.

Of course they are happy to take your money, because once you have started, you are not going to back out. A very clever marketing tactic but also highly illegal and misleading. There is no chance whatsoever that they can do a divorce in 12 weeks, even as an average, even if you agree.

Please check before you decide to use one of these websites as to their qualifications, whether they have any trading standards complaints, their reviews etc, by doing some simple Google research. Advertising as a quickie divorce does not actually mean quick, it is just a name.

Divorce timescale at Divorce-Online

The average timescale for a standard divorce case, without complications at Divorce-Online in 2015 has been 24 weeks, an increase of  9 weeks over 2014.

So you can see we are honest about how long a divorce will take, because we would like you to give our service a great review and meet your expectations.

We use secure courier to deliver and receive documents from the court and do not charge for postage if you prefer not to download documents online.

Update as at 24/10/2016

The courts have now had adequate time to adapt to the new changes from regional courts to divorce centres.

Now, in October 2016 we are processing our clients divorce cases within 18-20 weeks on average, which is 4-6 weeks quicker than was possible only 4-5 months ago.

If you would like to use an online divorce service that is honest about how long a divorce takes and has been approved by Trading Standards call 01793 384 029 and speak to our friendly advisers.

Mark Keenan

About Mark Keenan

Editor of the Divorce Online blog

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