Family Law Solicitors
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J Spencer

Speak to an expert 01782 205000

Alternatively, email enquiry@beswicks.com

How to get a divorce

You can get divorced in England and Wales if you have been married for over a year, your marriage is legally recognised in the UK, your relationship has broken down irretrievably and the UK is your permanent home.

Grounds for divorce

There is only one ground to divorce, and that is that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. When you apply for a divorce you will need to rely on one of the following ‘facts’:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • You’ve been separated for at least two years and both agree in writing
  • You’ve been separated for at least five years, even if one party disagrees with the divorce
Book an appointment online

Make an appointment with one of our specialists using our online booking system

Step one:

Every family situation is unique, so the first thing we do when you instruct Beswicks’ family team is to meet with you so that you can tell your solicitor exactly what your circumstances are. We offer an initial reduced-price fixed fee of £100+vat for an hour’s consultation. This helps us to accurately assess the best next steps for you and provides you with clear advice about how to move forward with your situation.

Step two:

We will prepare a draft divorce petition for you to review, which contains information about your marriage, children and your reasons for wanting a divorce. We will gather all of this information at your initial fixed fee meeting. Once you are happy with the contents of the petition, it is then sent to your spouse to allow them to review the contents and respond to any allegations within the petition. We allow your spouse 14 days to review the document and to instruct their own solicitors, if they wish to do so, before the petition is issued to the court along with a court fee of £550.

Step three:

The court will issue the petition and it will be sent to your spouse. From this point on, you are known as the Petitioner and your spouse becomes the Respondent.

Your spouse, or their instructed solicitors, will be required to file an ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ form within 14 days of the petition being issued, confirming that he or she has received the petition and stating whether they are contesting the divorce.

If your spouse does not respond and does not file an acknowledgment of service, we can use a process server to ensure the petition has been delivered and apply for ‘Deemed Service’. This enables you to apply for decree nisi, despite them failing to return the acknowledgment of service.

Step four:

If, the divorce is not contested, we will apply for the decree nisi by preparing a formal statement which answers a series of set questions.

Your decree nisi indicates that your papers and ground for divorce have been accepted by the court. The court will then list a date for your decree nisi to be pronounced in open court. You do not need to attend court for this part of the process.

There must be a minimum six-week and one-day period after the decree nisi has been pronounced before decree absolute is allowed for, which officially ends your marriage.

The whole process, if straightforward and uncontested, usually takes around six months.

Step five:

While the divorce process is running, we can work on sorting out financial, pensions, property and children matters. These matters are treated as a separate matter to your divorce, as financial proceedings must be dealt with by way of a divorce financial settlement.

It is usual practice to ‘hold off’ on applying for decree absolute until such a time as the financial aspect of your divorce is finalised which may delay matters should this be complex. Once the court has ruled on the settlement or the parties agree, it will be confirmed by a consent order.

We provide the very best legal support and guidance delivered in plain English. Find out more about how our family law experts can help you.

£100+vat fixed fee appointment

We offer a reduced-price fixed fee appointment to enable you to discuss your situation with a family solicitor.

At your hour-long consultation you will receive detailed advice and guidance on the best way forward, along with an indication of the likely overall costs.

If you are facing divorce, you don’t have to do it alone. Our legal experts can guide you through the process, looking after your best interests.

Book an appointment for your initial one-hour consultation by using our online appointment system, emailing enquiry@beswicks.com or phoning 01782 205000.

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