As a divorce lawyer, people often ask me “how long does it take to get divorced? The answer is - it depends.
As we mentioned in our Top 6 Divorce Myths blog, nearly 60 per cent of people think that it takes years to complete the divorce process. The truth is that getting a divorce in the UK can take as little time as four to six months. As many as 58 per cent didn’t realise the time it takes to get a divorce could be so short.
While bringing the marriage to an end can be achieved in just a few months the process usually takes longer particularly when it comes to resolving financial matters.
Before deciding to go ahead with a divorce, most people, 76 per cent in fact, will try to resolve the problems in their relationship. The average person will work at their marriage for 18 months, really trying to find a way to avoid it breaking down.
Most people spend a period of time contemplating big life decisions. Getting divorced is without a doubt a big decision to make and sometimes it can take a great deal of bravery to do so. We found from our survey that 11 per cent of people were held back from getting divorced due to the stigma surrounding it.
It shouldn’t then come as a surprise to learn that the average person takes 24 months and 12 days thinking about getting divorced before they actually start the process.
Agreeing on financial settlements and arrangements for children are often why divorces take longer to conclude.
In order to keep things simple and to ensure a smooth divorce process, couples can enter into a prenuptial agreement. This sets out how assets are to be divided in the event that the relationship ends in divorce.
Other ways in which spouses can keep the divorce process amicable and avoid lengthy court proceedings include using collaborative law or mediation as a way of resolving any financial or children issues.
Vicki McLynn is a senior family lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.