Family Law Solicitors
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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.


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

The divorce process

Step one:

Every family situation is unique, so the first thing we do when you instruct a Beswicks’ divorce solicitor is to meet with you so that you can fully explain your circumstances . We offer two types of initial appointment – a Beswicks Overview appointment, which includes an in-depth consultation with an experienced family solicitor, followed by a written Moving Forward Report outlining all of the information and advice that you have been given. This costs £250+vat. Alternatively, we offer a standard hour-long fixed fee appointment at £100+vat.

Step two:

Once you formally instruct us, we will prepare a draft divorce application for you to review, which contains information about your marriage,  and your reasons for wanting a divorce. Once you are happy with the contents of the application, it can be sent to your spouse for them to review. If you wish, you can invite them to become a joint applicant, and to apply for the divorce alongside you. Your legal adviser will be able to discuss whether this is best for you.

We allow your spouse 14 days to review the document and to instruct their own solicitors, if they wish to do so, before the application is sent to the court along with a court fee of £593.

Step three:

The court will issue the application and it will be sent to your spouse, usually by email. From this point on, you are known as the applicant 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 application being issued and served, confirming that he or she has received the application and stating whether they are contesting the divorce. The divorce can only be contested on the basis that you are not actually married, you are already divorced, or the Courts of England and Wales do not have jurisdiction.

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

Step four:

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

Your conditional order for divorce indicates that your papers have been accepted by the court. The court will then list a date for your conditional order for divorce 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 conditional order for divorce has been pronounced before final order for divorce is applied for, which officially ends your marriage.

The whole process, if straightforward, usually takes around seven 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 separate 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 final order for divorce 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.

Beswicks Family Law Appointments

Whether you choose our Beswicks Overview Service or a standard fixed fee appointment, you will meet with an experienced family solicitor who will be able to give you meaningful, detailed, practical advice to enable you to move on to the next steps.

Your solicitor will provide all of the advice that you need on finances, property, children, pensions and business interests so that you have a complete picture of all of your options.

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 by using our online appointment system, emailing or phoning 01782 205000.

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