Does the prospect of still being [legally] married this time next year fill you with dread?
A commonly-asked question at the start of divorce is ‘how long will this take?’.
It’s hard not to give that frustrating response, ‘how long is a piece of string?’.
Helpfully, the Family Court publishes quarterly statistics.
Between January and March 2020 (just before the pandemic forced us into lockdown), it took on average 28 weeks to get to decree nisi, and 55 weeks to receive decree absolute.
These figures may come as a surprise – or a shock – especially if you’re already at the end of your tether and desperate to end your marriage and move on. However, they are helpful to know.
[From October 2021, the divorce process will change to a ‘no fault’ process: neither person needs to blame the other for the marriage breakdown. This ‘new’ divorce process will take a minimum of six months: this is the first time there has been a legal time frame on divorce.]
The time between filing for divorce and receiving decree absolute can be a rollercoaster.
The saddest thing is to see sad and warring parents forced to go through this interim phase like a pinball in a machine. This it has consequences for you and your children – not just now but in the future.
The adrenaline you experience when first committing to separation and filing the papers (or receiving the paperwork) will subside and may be replaced by sadness or anger, game-playing and communication breakdowns.
It can also be expensive if you’re living in two homes, or carry a heavy emotional toll if you’re stuck under the same roof.
Add in lawyers and maybe a court case, and the costs skyrocket quickly.
As a coach, I see people who have suffered enough and I see it as my job to equip you with the skills and support you need to endure that interim period and come out of your marriage feeling strong and optimistic. I don’t want the problems and weaknesses between you and your spouse to get any bigger.
It’s not enough to think ‘head down and through’: you need to ask for the practical and emotional support you need. There are untold benefits to working with people who can provide holistic help – and have skills that beyond those relating to legal practice.
You do not need to go through this alone.
Image © Roman Bozhko