The length of time from start to finish for a divorce action depends upon how quickly you (or your lawyer) finish the paperwork, how easy it is to locate and serve the documents on your spouse, and how many complications there are in the case. An uncontested divorce will generally take between 6 months to a year. A contested divorce could take several years.
Various things might happen during the 31-day waiting period between the date of the Divorce Judgment and the date you can make an application for a Certificate of Divorce:
1. You and your spouse might get back together. If so you should apply to set aside the Divorce Judgment. You would then once again be considered married to each other.
2. A spouse might appeal the Judgment. If this happens, no Certificate of Divorce can be issued.
NOTE: An appeal cannot be started after the Certificate of Divorce has been issued.
3. A spouse may apply to set aside the Divorce Judgment because it was obtained as a result of fraud. This application would have to be finished before a Certificate of Divorce could be issued.
The 31-day waiting period may be waived if there are special circumstances that make it in the public interest to grant the divorce earlier. An example of special circumstances would be one spouse wanting to remarry within a short period of time due to the impending birth of a child or death of a family member.
It is unlikely any of these occur, and the Certificate of Divorce is granted 31 days after the Divorce Judgment, on application to the Clerk of the Court.