Talking of the proposals for banking reform on the Andrew Marr show on 8 July 2012, Ed Balls commented that due to the difficulties in changing banks people in Britain stay with the same bank for longer than they stay with their spouses – appearing to suggest that divorce is a much faster and easier process. Ed Balls’ analogy may have been simply to prove a political point, but to take his words seriously, just how quickly can you obtain a divorce?
The divorce process can take as little as 4-6 months where there is some agreement between the parties, but can take up to a year. If a complex financial settlement needs to be sorted out by the courts, the divorce process can be put on hold for a number of years until that happens. By comparison, changing your bank account takes a matter of weeks. Despite the media’s oft alluded to celebrity “quicky” divorce, the process is unlikely to be quicker than changing banks.
But is the process easier? As family lawyers we have met with many different people who require a divorce under vastly different circumstances for very different reasons. It is unlikely that any of them would say that obtaining their divorce was easy in terms of reaching the decision and accepting it emotionally, and it is the emotional aspect of divorce which often makes the procedure so difficult to deal with. The associated concerns that people have in terms of their children and finances compound this and can complicate the legal process.
Whilst the divorce process is simpler today than it ever has been (due to recent reforms) it can seem daunting to those outside of the legal profession.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on twitter @Divorce_experts.