At Consilia Legal, we have a team of specialist family and divorce solicitors who are experts in the field of divorce and separation.
We understand the difficulties that a relationship breakdown can cause. Our aim is to work with you to achieve the best outcome for you and your family in the most pragmatic and cost-effective manner.
There is only one ground for divorce which is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.
In order to establish irretrievable breakdown you have to prove one of the following 5 facts:-
- Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them.
- Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
- You have been separated for a period of two years and you each consent to a divorce.
- You have been separated for a period of five years or more.
The law is shortly due to change to allow for a ‘no-fault’ divorce. At present this is not in place.
The divorce process is a paper-based procedure and you should not need to attend Court unless the process is defended by your spouse or civil partner or there are issues as to whom should bear the costs of the divorce.
The process tends to take an average of 6 months for undefended divorce proceedings depending upon how quickly the other party responds and the speed at which the Court deals with the paperwork.
The Divorce Process
The person who starts the divorce proceedings is known as the “Applicant/Petitioner” and their spouse is known as the “Respondent”.
1. The Petitioner will complete a Divorce Petition. Within the petition, the Petitioner will cite one of the followings facts to establish that the marriage has irretrievably broken down:-
a. Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
b. Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them;
c. You have been separated for a period of two years and you each consent to a divorce;
e. You have been separated for a period of five years or more.
1. The Petitioner will send the petition with the Court fee of £550 and their original marriage certificate to their local Family Court. You can find your local Court at https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk;
2. The Court will send a copy of the petition to the Respondent together with the Acknowledgment of Service form. The Respondent is to return this form to confirm whether he/she intends to defend the proceedings and whether who pays for the divorce is agreed;
3. The Petitioner will then file two documents with the Court; a Statement in Support of the Divorce Petition and the Application for the Decree Nisi;
4. If the Court is satisfied that the Petitioner is entitled to a divorce or dissolution and the proceedings and/or costs are not defended the Court will pronounce a date for Decree Nisi– the first ruling to dissolve the marriage;
5. The Petitioner can file the Application for Decree Absolute no earlier than 6 weeks and 1 day after the Decree Nisi. The Court will then send both parties a sealed copy of the Decree Absolute. This brings the marriage to an end.
The act of getting divorced however does not deal with financial or child-related issues and specialist advice is needed to ensure that you are fully informed as to your legal rights and obligations. For more information see our pages on Finances & Children.