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What is the fastest way to get divorced in the UK?

When facing the prospect of divorce, it is understandable to want to get it over with as quickly as possible while making sure your interests are not compromised. While this is likely to be an emotionally challenging time, it is important to try to be as pragmatic as possible if your goal is to make your divorce go ahead quickly.

If your goal is to get divorced as fast as possible, there are three key things to consider which can help the process go quickly and smoothly.

Choosing the right grounds for divorce

In the UK, there is no such thing as ‘no fault’ divorce, meaning that you and your spouse cannot legally end your marriage simply because you no longer want to be together. Instead, you have to justify your desire to end your marriage by citing your ‘grounds for divorce’ in the divorce petition. These grounds need to be considered sufficient by a judge for your marriage to end.

Which grounds for divorce you choose can have a big impact on how long the divorce will take, so it is important to bear this in mind when preparing your divorce petition.

The grounds you can use are:

  1. Adultery – Where your spouse has had sex with someone else of the opposite gender (extramarital sex with someone of the same gender is not currently classed as adultery under UK law).
  2. Unreasonable behaviour – Anything which means it would be unreasonable to expect you to continue living with your spouse e.g. emotional neglect, spending excessive amounts of time at work, domestic violence.
  3. Desertion – Leaving you for more that 2 years out of the past 2.5 years without your agreement and for the purposes of ending your relationship.
  4. Separation for at least 2 years – Where you have not lived as a couple for 2 years or more and your spouse agrees to the divorce.
  5. Separation for at least 5 years – Where you have not lived as a couple for 5 years or more, whether your spouse agrees to the divorce or not.

If your goal is a fast divorce, using the grounds of adultery (if applicable) or unreasonable behaviour are the best options as all the other choices will require you to wait a minimum of 2 years.

Discussing your divorce with your spouse

One of the biggest potential sources of delay in any divorce is if your spouse challenges the divorce petition. This can happen if they do not accept the idea of getting divorced, but is often simply because they dispute the grounds cited in the divorce petition.

If your spouse feels the grounds cited are unfair to them, they may dispute the divorce simply because they do not want to feel they are accepting “blame” that they do not deserve. It is therefore much better to discuss the divorce petition with your spouse wherever possible, so you can make sure they will be willing to agree to the grounds you cite.

This can allow you divorce to progress much faster, although it is also a good idea to thoroughly discuss the grounds you use with your solicitor before submitting your divorce petition to ensure the reasons you give have the best chance of being accepted as sufficient by a judge.

Using non-confrontational dispute resolution

When arranging a divorce settlement, for example a financial settlement or arrangements for children, doing so without resorting to court action will usually allow you to find a solution much faster, as well as costing you less and being less stressful.

Using options such as mediation and collaborative law to agree a settlement with your ex-partner means you won’t need to wait for a court hearing and allows you to avoid the potentially long, drawn out and acrimonious legal process involved in taking a divorce through the courts.

You can still make any voluntary agreement you reach in this way legally binding with a consent order, meaning there is usually no disadvantage to avoiding court action when trying to reach a divorce settlement.

Crisp & Co’s divorce solicitors in London and the South East are highly experienced in non-confrontational divorce with our team included both Resolution-trained mediators and collaborative lawyers. This means we can usually help you get divorced faster and at a lower cost while avoiding the need for court action in most cases.

To find out more, speak to one of our expert divorce lawyers now by calling 020 3797 4952 or use the enquiry form below to request a call back.

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