UK Divorce Duration: Divorce Lawyer in Glasgow Spousal Delays

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, and one of the most common questions asked by those embarking on this journey is about the timeframe. Specifically, many are concerned with how long a spouse can prolong the divorce proceedings in the UK. This blog post aims to shed light on this topic, providing insights and guidance for those navigating through these challenging times.

When it comes to divorce, the duration can vary significantly, influenced by numerous factors such as the complexity of the case, the cooperation level of both parties, and the specific legal procedures in different regions, like Glasgow. A skilled divorce lawyer in Glasgow can often streamline the process, effectively representing your interests and minimising unnecessary delays.

Let’s delve into the details of what can affect the duration of a divorce in the UK and how to navigate these waters as smoothly as possible.

How Long Can a Spouse Drag Out a Divorce in the UK?

There can be numerous reasons for couples to delay the divorce process, most often related to finances or agreeing on arrangements for children. Seek advice from an experienced family law solicitor.

Your spouse will receive a copy of your petition and an acknowledgement of service form to sign and return within 20 weeks after you file an application for divorce. Afterward, there is a reflective period.

The table outlines how divorce proceedings in the UK can be prolonged, along with strategies to mitigate these delays.  It emphasises the importance of legal advice, particularly from experienced family law solicitors, in navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings.

Stage/Aspect Description
Initial Filing After filing a divorce application, your spouse has 20 weeks to acknowledge it. This period is crucial for reflection and consideration.
Deemed Service Delays occur if a spouse refuses to acknowledge the divorce. This can complicate financial settlements and escalate costs, impacting mental well-being.
Preventing Delays Early preparation of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements by a divorce lawyer in Glasgow can streamline financial matters, reducing disputes.
Alternative Method of Service Filing a “dispensed service application” (Form D13B) can be done if serving notice is challenging, leading to a judge deciding on service acknowledgment after 14 working days.
Minimising Delays Prompt filing ensures adherence to court timelines. Delaying the process adds stress and expenses.
Online Filing and Electronic Applications Using online providers for electronic filing can save time. In cases of non-cooperation, court permission for bailiff service might be necessary.
Complex Assets and Court Congestion Complex assets and busy courts can prolong the process. The average divorce in England and Wales takes 6–8 months, but it can vary.
Dispensed Service Averages 6–8 months in England and Wales. Delays can be due to negotiations or obstructions, which the court may penalise.
Acknowledgement of Service The courts inform both parties through this process. If avoidance occurs, alternative methods like hiring process servers or using electronic communication are options.
Legal Assistance Hiring an experienced family solicitor can navigate through obstructions and expedite the process. Fixed-fee services can be cost-effective.
Decree Nisi Using a process server can expedite serving divorce papers. Decree Nisi is essential for proceeding towards divorce completion. Opposing the Decree Nisi requires filing an answer form.


Deemed service

Divorces can be delayed considerably by one spouse refusing to acknowledge their end, even if this doesn’t prevent divorce altogether but rather extends its process significantly and makes resolving financial matters much harder.

Many times, one spouse will avoid acknowledging a divorce due to discontent with its terms, leading to significant delays and higher costs for both sides and threatening the mental wellbeing of everyone involved in the dispute.

As part of a speedier process, it is wise to have your divorce lawyer in Glasgow prepare a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement as early as possible. Having your lawyer prepare a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement as early as possible will help ensure simultaneous resolution of all financial matters, thereby avoiding disputes over assets. Furthermore, your solicitor can create a consent order documenting any agreements reached over divorce settlement terms.

Alternative Methods of Service Filing If an applicant wants the requirement of serving notice of their divorce application waived, they may submit a “dispensed service application.” However, this will only be approved if the court believes the applicant has done everything possible to locate and serve notice on their respondent and they have conducted thorough inquiries and searches of their address in order to reach him or her with it.

Filing an Application for Dispensed Service can be done using Form D13B and should be submitted after filing either a general order or a service order. Once accepted, your case will enter the AOS Overdue State for 14 working days before a judge decides if notice of your application has been considered served.

Although it might be tempting to drag out the divorce proceedings for your own gain, delaying it only adds stress and expenses for both parties involved. Therefore, filing as soon as possible ensures the process runs according to court timelines.

Alternative service

Divorce can be an emotionally and financially draining experience. The longer a divorce lasts, the higher its costs are for both spouses. Furthermore, any prolonged dispute could have lasting emotional repercussions for each of them, yet despite all the reasons why divorce takes so much longer than expected, it’s still possible to complete it as quickly as possible.

There are various ways to hasten the divorce process, but one of the best strategies is to use an online provider who will file electronically rather than by mail. Courts only accepting electronic applications directly into their systems versus paper applications being submitted separately by mail could save four months. Furthermore, selecting one that will manage all aspects of your case on behalf of both you and them could further speed things up.

If your ex-partner is refusing to cooperate, you can request court permission to use a bailiff as evidence that they know about the divorce and can serve them with their contractual documents. While this might expedite proceedings faster, it should only be used as a last resort as it could add four months to the process.

However, factors that can extend the timeframe for divorce in England and Wales include complicated assets and overcrowded courts. While an average English and Welsh divorce typically takes six-eight months, depending on its circumstances, it could take even longer. For example, waiting periods following your application for divorce—20 weeks post-application, six post-waiting order applications—as well as disagreements between parties concerning finances or child arrangements may lead to delays. KQ Solicitors offers experienced solicitors that can shorten this process significantly.

Dispensed service

On average, divorce proceedings in England and Wales take around six-eight months due to two key waiting periods: a 20-week cooling-off period following filing the application, and then six weeks before you can submit an application for a conditional order (decree nisi under old law).

Divorces in the UK can be delayed for various reasons, from trying to hide personal details or negotiate for a better financial settlement to just postponing. Delay results in increased legal fees and added stress for both parties involved, but a judge will punish anyone causing obstruction by taking appropriate measures against such conduct.

Once a court becomes aware of your desire to end your marriage, they must inform both parties involved through an acknowledgement of service process. Once completed, divorce proceedings may move on to the next phase. If your spouse attempts to avoid acknowledgement of service by using alternative means—for instance, using professional process servers or sending them emails or text messages—consider seeking alternative means of contact; such methods might include hiring professional process servers or sending emails or text messages directly.

If your spouse is concealing information, trying to avoid meeting with you, or making excuses not to meet with you, hiring a solicitor who specialises in divorce cases could be your solution. They will provide advice as to the most suitable course of action and help you obtain the outcome you deserve.

Hire a family solicitor with experience and life skills who can assist with the proceedings of your divorce. They will guide you through every stage of the process and expedite it as quickly as possible.

Selecting a lawyer offering fixed-fee divorce services will save both money and time, helping to avoid unexpected costs. Many firms offer free initial consultations, during which you can discuss your needs with them and see whether or not they are the perfect match for you. In addition, online filing portals have proven much more efficient than paper forms for filing divorce applications.

Decree nisi

Divorcing can be an extended and drawn-out process. But there are ways you can expedite it more quickly; one such is using a process server to serve divorce papers on your spouse. A process server will visit your spouse either at work or home, deliver the paperwork, and provide proof of service that can be submitted to court.

Once your spouse has acknowledged receipt of service, the next step in the divorce process should be applying for a decree nisi. This court decree confirms that your marriage has irretrievably broken down—essential if remarriage becomes an option later.

Decree Nisi is one of two court orders necessary to start the divorce process, along with Decree Absolute. These two court orders have replaced earlier conditional orders and final orders; their application should be made within six weeks and one day from when you sent an acknowledgement of service notice to your spouse; otherwise, you must provide an explanation as to why this has taken place.

Your spouse will receive copies of your Decree Nisi papers and have 28 days to respond or file an answer form stating why they disagree with it and its application. If they choose to oppose, however, an answer form must be filed; otherwise, you can go forward with your divorce process without further delay.

Once a judge agrees that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, they will issue you a decree, Nisi. They will also inform you when and how to apply for a decree absolute in order to dissolve it; however, it should be remembered that the court will only grant this decree after all financial issues have been settled in order to protect spousal rights such as pensions and other benefits from being compromised by divorce proceedings.