If you are in a relationship that is very unhappy you might be considering divorce proceedings. How long will it take to get a divorce? It is not quite as simple as it may sound. A good family lawyer will tell you that you must be separated for 12 months before you can apply for a divorce. And if you’ve been married for less than two years you must go to counselling together first, unless there is a good reason that this is not possible.
When getting advice from your family lawyers, you’ll find that if your spouse is violent and abusive, you won’t need to go to counselling. Or if your spouse refuses to attend counselling, there is no way you can force the issue, so this is also a reason that counselling may be avoided.
So, the very first step to a divorce when the relationship has broken down irretrievably is to separate from your spouse. At 12 months and one day after the separation, you can put an application in to the courts to file for divorce. You will have to attend court for the divorce hearing and if it is granted on that day, the Divorce Order will be issued one month and one day after the hearing. This is only if both parties agree to the divorce. The whole process takes about four months if everything goes well.
If the other party does not agree or if there is a delay in serving with the Notice of Divorce – for instance, if he cannot be found, there will be a delay, because the divorce cannot be granted until this happens. This can delay the divorce for some months.