Having a marriage breakdown is one of the most upsetting experiences that we may suffer in our lives, but ultimately getting a divorce can help you both to start to move forward to new beginnings.

Before seeking advice from a solicitor about how a divorce works, it is often good to read up on how the process works so you don’t feel too overloaded with information when you do get an appointment with a solicitor. If you know a bit about the process, then you will be able to clearly think about any questions you have so you can ask your solicitor about anything that concerns you, which will ultimately help you to feel more in control.

Couple facing away
Image by Daniel Lobo

Step By Step

This step by step guide will show you the process of a divorce, so you can be familiar about what is coming when you meet your solicitor.

  • Grounds for Divorce – there are five grounds for divorce; adultery, desertion, unreasonable behaviour, living apart for two years or living apart for five years. Your solicitor will advise you on which grounds apply to your situation.
  • Fill in the Divorce Petition – you will need to complete a form to be sent to the court outlining the grounds for divorce, any children you have and if they are under 18. You need to include childcare and access arrangements and also maintenance payments too. At this point there is a fee to be paid of £410 to the court to start the divorce. Your solicitor will know how many copies of the form need to be sent and to whom they should be sent to.
  • Responding to a Divorce Petition – if your spouse has filed for divorce against you, you have to decide if you will agree to the divorce or not. Another option is to file for divorce yourself. You should think carefully about what you want to do because divorce can be costly for both parties, both financially and emotionally.
  • Decree Nisi – as long as your divorce is not contested, you can apply for a decree nisi which is a document that confirms the court sees no reason to not grant a divorce. There are some circumstances where a decree nisi may not be granted, but your solicitor will discuss this with you in detail.
  • Decree Absolute – six weeks after your decree nisi has been issued, you can then apply for a decree absolute, which is the legal document ending your marriage. You must apply within 12 months of obtaining your decree nisi.

This step by step guide gives you an overview of the divorce process and will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to get a divorce. Legal advice from a specialist solicitor will help you to ensure that you get the best outcome possible.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our family law services, please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).