How long does it take?
If a couple can agree about the details, it is possible to obtain a divorce, and sort out all the legal issues, within 6 months. However, if you cannot agree and need to litigate, it can take up to 2 years for your case to come before the courts for a final hearing. You can usually obtain a mediation appointment within 2 weeks, and will be able to arrange mediation sessions thereafter at a time to suit you, as often as necessary. Mediation is not an open-ended process; if the dispute relates solely to children, mediation is likely to take about 5-7 hours (or 3-5 sessions); if the dispute involves financial issues it is likely to take longer, but is very unlikely to involve as many as 15 hours. Unlike the timetable in litigation, which is dependent on the courts and the lawyers, the mediation timetable is largely decided by the clients.
'Mediated cases are quicker to resolve, taking on average 110 days, compared with 435 days for non-mediated cases.'
National Audit Office report, 2007