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Married Less Than A Year – Can I Divorce?

divorce process

Tennis star Simona Haley has announced this week that she is set to split with her billionaire husband Tony Luruc after less than a year of marriage. But is this even possible and what are the timescales involved?

Timescales involved with divorce

In order to start the no fault divorce process you must wait at least one year from the date of marriage. In the event that you unfortunately separate before a year has passed, you must wait to start the formal divorce process.

Once you have decided to start the divorce process the timescales involved are set out by the court under the new divorce law, which changed in April 2022.

The initial application is done through the online divorce portal and once submitted it takes an average of 1-3 weeks for the paperwork to be processed by HMCTS.

Once the divorce has been issued by the court, your spouse then has 14 days to respond. Under the new (no fault) divorce law, they are not able to contest the divorce unless there is a genuine legal reason, i.e. fraud.

Provided that there are no issues or your spouse simply doesn’t respond, you then have to wait a legal minimum of 20 weeks to be able to move to the next stage of the divorce process, the conditional divorce order (formerly Decree Nisi).

When you reach this stage of the process, you will then receive an order from the court confirming you are at the conditional divorce order point. From the date of that order, you have to wait a further 6 weeks and 1 day as the legal minimum to be able to finalise the divorce and obtain your final divorce order (formerly Decree Absolute).

The average timescales involved for getting a divorce are around 1 year, with some taking slightly longer if there is disagreement about the financial matters. Overall it is best to speak with a specialist family law solicitor who will be able to provide you with appropriate divorce law advice to help you move forward.

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

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