A divorcee’s guide to the ‘Quickie Divorce’

Posted 23rd January 2023

A divorcee’s guide to the ‘Quickie Divorce’

When you google ‘Get a Divorce’, the first search returned is the Government website. After that you will see several adverts from services promising you a ‘quick’ and ‘easy’ service –
“Get a divorce In Weeks £199 – No courts and no solicitor fees”
“Quickie divorce”
“24 hour service – start your fast divorce today”
Almost too good to be true, right?
There is no such thing as a ‘quickie divorce’. This article explains the current divorce process to illustrate why the reality is that currently in England and Wales divorces are taking a minimum of 6 months from start to finish.

The process
Application for divorce submitted (either jointly, or with one party doing their own application)

Application is sent to your spouse to approve (in joint applications) or to acknowledge service (sole applications).

Once approved/acknowledged, the application goes back to the court to check thoroughly and issue. This usually takes a few days, but if there are errors or if you have applied for help with fees, it can take some weeks. The court fee is £593.

Application issued by the courts once checked. This starts the 20 week ‘waiting period’ before the divorce can be progressed further. The government introduced this waiting period to ensure that couples took time to think about their divorce and avoided hasty decision making. It is a time for reflection and for many couples a time to negotiate and try to reach agreement regarding their finances.

After 20 weeks, the conditional order can be applied for. Again, the court checks the application and sets down a date (usually a couple of weeks away) to pronounce the conditional order.

Conditional order made. At this point, it is vital that parties ensure an agreement is in place and lodged with the court in relation to their finances. You cannot assume that your financial claims will be dismissed automatically on divorce.

There is a further 6 week waiting period after the conditional order is made before either party can apply for the conditional order to be made ‘final’.

Final order application submitted. The final order is made relatively quickly once the application has been made.

What does this mean for you?
Well, as far as fees are concerned, unless you are eligible for help with fees (e.g. because you are in receipt of certain benefits) then a divorce is going to cost you a minimum of £593.

Timings wise, there is a minimum 20 week wait and 6 week wait within the divorce process. This means that a divorce is going to take a minimum of 26 weeks even if all parties (including the court) action everything within seconds of receiving it.

The reality for prospective divorcees is that there is no such thing as a quickie divorce. You could pay any solicitor or online service any amount of money to assist you, but the reality is that you will be waiting over 6 months for a divorce.

What else can you be doing during the 6 months?
Those 6 months do not need to be wasted. You can use the 6 month period to reach agreement between you in relation to arrangements for children and your finances.

By seeking advice at the outset, you can ensure that you are using the time as productively as possible, so that once your divorce is finalised, you can rest easy knowing that everything has been dealt with.

Neves Solicitors LLP
Aurora House
Deltic Avenue
Milton Keynes
MK13 8LW

01908 304560