How Can I Get A Quick Divorce?

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Ready to draw a line under your marriage and move on? Getting a quick divorce can feel like an important step for separated single parents who are on a healing journey and just want a fast resolution to their legal situation. So what do you need to know about speeding up the divorce process? Divorce and Separation Coach Chloe O gives us her top advice on the matter.

hand holding a wedding band to symbolise divorce
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Most people have three main concerns when it comes to managing their divorce process: limiting its cost, making it quick and making it less acrimonious. These are all valid concerns which emerge from the image we often see in the media of long, expensive, litigated high-conflict divorce. While some divorces end up looking like Kramer vs Kramer, there are more and more ways in which people can expedite the process and reduce its negative impacts. 

In this article we will zoom in on concerns about the time required to divorce and explore ways in which people can divorce quickly. But before we dive into my three tips to accelerate your divorce, it is essential to have the right expectations from the onset. 

One must understand that no matter what they do or don’t want to achieve, there are some incompressible timelines at play. In the UK, for example, the average divorce takes a year to complete. This, of course, includes lengthy litigated cases as well as amicable settlements. 

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How long does it take to get a decree nisi?

Even if you and your spouse can agree on everything, you will have to wait 20 weeks once you apply for decree nisi (the first order). This reflection period is meant to provide the couple with time to carefully consider their decision and to reach a suitable agreement. 

How long does it take to get a decree absolute?

Once the decree nisi is granted, you will need to wait a further 6 weeks and 1 day to apply for the final order (decree absolute). Even if you abide to these timelines in their strictest sense, the courts are often congested and it will take time for them to process your case. So, while on paper you could get divorced within six months, the reality is that you are looking at an average of eight months to get everything sorted. 

How to speed up the divorce process

Now, as I have hinted at, there are ways to avoid those 8-or-so months turning into years. Here are my top three tips to get divorced faster, if that is your top priority.

  1. Seek an out-of-court settlement

The fastest way to divorce is to avoid going to court to finalise your arrangements. The court process is slow and congested, and it requires a lot of paperwork and prerequisites. If you or your spouse can agree to keep the divorce negotiations amicable, i.e. out of court, you can reach an agreement on your own and effectively skip the queue. There are many mechanisms to support you in reaching an agreement without delegating the decision making to a judge. Mediation, for example, only takes an average of 3 or 4 sessions to reach an agreement, which means you could have a documented agreement within a couple of months. Of course, the cheapest and fastest option is to simply sit down with your spouse to hash out an agreement among yourselves. But that is also the hardest and often requires support from qualified professionals to keep things in progress.

  1. Be clear about your priorities

When negotiating your divorce agreement with your spouse, it will be essential for you to be clear about your own objectives. By defining early on your own non-negotiable priorities, you will be able to approach the conversation as a business meeting, with fewer emotions clouding the conversation. If your top priority for example is to be able to take your children back to your home country every Christmas, you may agree with your ex that they will be with the children for their birthdays every year. As a Certified Divorce Coach, this is exactly the type of work I do with my clients in helping them build a credible proposal based on their own priorities and their childrens’ best interests. This allows them to come to the negotiation table fully prepared and with a business mindset that focuses on the outcomes they are seeking. Ultimately, this saves everyone a lot of time and upset as it allows for a back and forth between the couple and helps reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone.

  1. Be flexible

My final piece of advice is a logical continuation to the second one above. While you need to be clear about your priorities, it is important to approach the divorce negotiations with an open mindset. The most common pitfall which brings conversations to a standstill and delays the process is that one or other party digs in their heels. The “my way or the highway” approach is never conducive to reaching an agreement and it antagonises the other person. While you want to preserve your priorities, you will need to show some flexibility with regards to other things, in particular when it comes to meeting your spouse’s priorities. Thinking creatively about other options, outside of the ones you are both putting forward, can be difficult. It does not mean that you should give in to all off your spouse’s requests. A Certified Divorce Coach can help you think through some other ideas and develop flexible counter-proposals that will help unlock the negotiation stalemate. Either way, entering the divorce settlement process with an open mind rather than with very strong inflexible positions, will make it more productive and increase your chances of reaching an agreement faster.

Chloe’s top divorce tip

If you were to take away one thing from this article, I would like it to be that, while there are some incompressible timelines involved in getting divorced, there is a lot you can do to keep things moving at the fastest possible pace. The beauty of the tips provided above is that they will also help you save money and reduce conflict with your ex. You will have achieved your goal of getting a quickie divorce while alleviating the other two most common divorce concerns.

How To Support Someone Going Through A Divorce

About Chloe O., The Divorce and Separation Coach

Chloe is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) professional and a Certified Divorce Coach. Her objective is to help women to divorce successfully: faster, cheaper and with less conflict. By learning to avoid the common emotional pitfalls, Chloe's clients achieve a better divorce, with a reduced psychological and financial cost for everyone. This allows them to come out of the process in a stronger position, feeling confident and ready to start the next chapter of their life.

Book a Free Discovery Call with Chloe to discuss your own divorce situation and explore how she can help you. | |

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