Divorce

Whatever has led you to part ways with your spouse, our divorce lawyers will provide you with the level of support and guidance you need to move forward with your life.

Although the legal process of divorce does not require that you separate your finances, it is always advisable to do so. The aim should be for assets to be divided fairly between you and for each spouse to become independent after a period-of-time. You can read more about dealing with matrimonial finances here.

If you have concerns about child arrangements for any children of the family visit Children Law and Contact.

What is the procedure of divorce?

In the UK you must have been married for a year and meet certain criteria to petition the Court for divorce.  The person seeking the divorce is known as the Petitioner and the other person is known as the Respondent.  As the law stands in England and Wales, only one of you can file for divorce even if you are separating by mutual agreement, so you may need to decide who will be the Petitioner and who will be the Respondent.

To divorce, the Petitioner must prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably using one of the following 5 facts:

  1. Adultery by your spouse
  2. Unreasonable behaviour, meaning that you cannot be reasonably expected to keep living with your spouse
  3. Your spouse has left you and you have lived apart for 2 years, known as Desertion
  4. You have lived apart for 2 or more years and you both agree to get divorced
  5. You have lived apart for 5 years if your spouse does not consent to divorce.

After you have proven to the Court that you meet the grounds for divorce, you will receive a provisional decree of divorce known as the Decree Nisi.  This shows that you intend to get divorced.  You (the Petitioner) must then wait at least six weeks and one day before applying for the Decree Absolute, which is the final decree that dissolves the marriage. Once this has been granted you are officially divorced.

As relationships end for many reasons you may find that you cannot immediately meet the divorce criteria set out in law.  Once we have taken your full instructions, our Divorce Solicitors can advise you on the most appropriate fact to use in your case.

How long will my divorce take?

An undefended divorce, where you both agree to the grounds for divorce and there is no delay from either of you in filing paperwork, could be finalised in as little as 4 - 6 months. 

If there are financial issues that need to be resolved, matters can take longer to finalise.  Although it is not a requirement to separate your marital finances before filing for your Decree Absolute, it is advisable to do so.  Your legal entitlement to assets held in your spouse's name, such as pensions, will diminish once you are divorced and this can affect how the marital pot is divided as well as the cost of dividing it.  You can read more about financial settlements on divorce here.

There are many ways to resolve disagreements about the distribution of marital assets and achieve a divorce.  We can advise you on the most appropriate form of resolution for your situation including mediation, collaboration, direct negotiation and arbitration, which can be quicker than involving the Court.  You can read more about the Alternatives to Court here

How much will my divorce cost?

Every divorce and every person's needs are different so costs will vary, but you can be assured that we have a transparent approach to fees and are always looking for ways to keep costs reasonable.  We will provide you with an initial cost estimate then regular updates to ensure that you are always aware of your position.

Can I divorce in UK if I do not live there?

In many circumstances it is possible to divorce in England even if you do not currently live here, and we can advise according to your circumstances.  We have represented clients in countries all over the world including the Middle East, Far East, France, Australia and USA.  It is important to receive advice at the outset about likely outcomes if you were to divorce in a different country.

Legal Advice

We can provide advice and assistance throughout the whole divorce process.  From a one-off consultation to review the legality of arrangements you have agreed between yourselves to full representation in more complicated matters, we will tailor our service to meet your needs and the needs of your case.  This includes dealing with any issues or disputes regarding prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.

For an initial discussion about your situation, please call us on 020 7993 2936 or complete a Contact Request here.  Alternatively, you can Get Started Online to receive a Free Confidential Report outlining your position.

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