The average time to complete an undefended divorce is about 6 months. There will be cases which are very straightforward and are processed more quickly by the court. However, some cases can take longer than 6 months – common reasons for delay are difficulties with the arrangements for any children of the family, financial requirements which mean that the divorce cannot be completed until a financial settlement is reached or where the Respondent to the proceedings avoids dealing with the divorce papers which means that there is delay, and extra costs, in having that person served with the papers.
Under the current system there is a requirement that the Petitioner takes every step that can reasonably be taken to draw the Respondent’s attention to the fact that a petition for divorce has been filed. In addition to the above there are also inbuilt timings that have to be considered – for example the Respondent has 7 days to respond to the petition once it is received and there is a statutory period of 6 weeks and one day from the pronouncement of the Conditional Order (formerly Decree Nisi) before the Petitioner is able to apply for the Final Order (formerly Decree Absolute). If the Petitioner does not apply for the Final Order then the Respondent is not permitted to do so for a further three months from the date at which the Petitioner could have first applied. As can be seen from the above, if you have plans to remarry once divorced DO NOT fix the date until you have a clear idea as to when your divorce will be completed.