A guide to the process (and timescale) of an uncontested divorce.
How long it takes to divorce is dependent on many factors: how busy the court is, how long it takes the petitioner to complete the forms, how long it takes for the respondent to reply... Care should be taken when completing the forms; if mistakes are made they will often be returned along with any cheque that was sent. Some courts are now taking over a month to process an application and are rejecting up to 40% of petitions due to minor errors. If you have questions, post them in the forum.
Complete your divorce petition (Form D8) and send it in triplicate together with a cheque for £550 made out to HMCS to your nearest Divorce Centre.
The court will allocate your case a number; always quote this number when you contact the court. One copy of the petition will be sent to your partner together with an Acknowledgement of Service form (D10) Approximate time: 4 weeks
Your partner needs to complete and sign the Acknowledgement of Service form and return it to the court. Approximate time: 3 to 14 days.
The court will send a copy of the Acknowledgement of Service form to you. Approximate time: 2 weeks.
If you don't hear from them within this time, check with the court. If your partner hasn't returned the Acknowledgement of Service form within 2 weeks of it being sent to him/her, you may need to apply for bailiff service (Form D89)
You will need to complete the Application for Directions for Trial (form D84) and affidavit in support Form D80 (A, B, C, D or E) and swear the affidavit. You send these forms to the court. Approximate time: up to you.
The court will arrange a date for your Decree Nisi and sent you a note with that date. Approximate time to Decree Nisi: 4 weeks.
Once the Decree Nisi is pronounced and you have been sent a copy, you can submit a consent order about your finances along with Statement of Information for a consent order (Form D81) send them both to court. 6 weeks and 1 day after the date of the Decree Nisi, you can apply for your divorce to be made absolute (Form D36) and a cheque for £40 (£80 if you need two).
The court will make the Decree Nisi absolute and send you a copy (Form D37) Approximate time: 2 weeks. If you have submitted a consent order it becomes legally binding on the date of the absolute.
The end; that's it: you're divorced and free to marry!!