The divorce process can be an extremely stressful time. We can prioritise what you are hoping to achieve, especially if you have any particular concerns that need to be dealt with quickly, regarding children, domestic abuse or living arrangements.
Whether getting a divorce is the first step, or you have been separated for a number of years, we can assist with any issues that arise as a result of your family breakdown. Seeking professional help at an early stage is especially important if you have particular concerns – for example, if your spouse is abroad, or you think your spouse is hiding financial assets.
What are the requirements of a divorce?
You must have been married for at least a year to apply for a divorce. It does not matter whether you got married in the UK or abroad, we can advise you if you are in any doubt about your divorce being legally recognised.
You will not usually need to see a judge and the process will mostly be paperwork and meetings with us. We can prepare your divorce petition based on the reasons you give for wanting the divorce.
We do not require your spouse’s agreement to the divorce, but this will lengthen the process. If there is a dispute about property, finances or children, this will be dealt with by another court, separately from the divorce process.
What do I need to provide?
You should ideally provide your original marriage certificate and an approved translation if the document is not in English. There is a court fee of £550 to file your petition. If you got married in the UK, we can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate for you. If the marriage took place abroad and you cannot obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, we will need to make an additional application to the court when we file your petition.
What is the process?
The party receiving the petition needs to sign a document and return it to the court. We can apply for a “Decree Nisi” if the signed document is received. If this does not happen, we will appoint a process server to serve the divorce petition by hand. Then we will need to make an application to the court, to continue with the divorce without the other party’s signature. The court will make an order, giving us instructions on what to do next or granting permission for us to proceed.
We can apply for a Decree Absolute six weeks after your Decree Nisi is pronounced. A Decree Absolute formally ends the marriage and entitles you to remarry if you wish.
How long will a divorce take?
We will be able to advise you on how long your divorce is likely take at our first meeting. We will need to discuss and assess the information available before giving you an estimated timescale. The length of the process can be affected by a number of factors, including whether your spouse is abroad and whether they cooperate with the proceedings.