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Divorce: How long will it take?
The divorce procedure itself takes about 4 to 5 months from when you issue your petition.

If you are going to use the adultery or the unreasonable behaviour of your husband or wife as the fact that proves irretrievable breakdown, you can issue your petition straight away.

If you are going to use desertion, or separation with the other side's consent, you will have to wait until 2 years has passed since the date you last lived together, before you can issue your petition.

If you have been trying to reconcile for a period of time up to 6 months (or several periods of time which add up to less than 6 months) you can still use the original date of desertion or separation as the beginning of your two year period. However if the attempted reconciliation lasts longer than 6 months you have to start counting your 2 years again before you can issue your petition.

If you have no other reason available to you except separation, and the other side does not consent, you must wait for 5 years before you issue the petition.

Please also see our other pages on aspects of divorce, Divorce and Privacy, Divorce and Costs, what happens to our house if we divorce?, will divorce affect my pension?, children and divorce, the effects of divorce on income and finances, Divorce and Separation Costs and divorce and relatives.


We are always willing to discuss each individual situation. Please phone Alistair Dobson on 01858 445480, James Haworth on 0116 212 1000 or Sarah Townsend on 0116 212 1080 to arrange a free initial appointment or visit one of our free walk-in clinics.  

Please note this will be kept in strictest confidence and is required solely to ensure we do not have a conflict of interest according to SRA regulations. The party WILL NOT be contacted by Lawson-West.