Whether you want a divorce or are heading down that route reluctantly, having a strong team supporting you and giving you clear, practical advice will make all the difference. The keys to achieving a good outcome for you is understanding where you stand, knowing what the process is and ensuring that you remain in control.

If your marriage or civil partnership has broken down, a divorce or dissolution can be applied for as long as you have been married for at least one year. An application needs to be based on one of five facts

  • unreasonable behaviour
  • adultery
  • living apart for two years and you both agree to a divorce
  • living apart for five years
  • desertion for more than two years.

In many cases, divorce proceedings are straightforward and our role is to guide you through the process to an outcome that is fair to you and allows you to move on with your life. However, complications sometimes arise, for example, if the other spouse’s whereabouts are unknown or if they do not respond to the court papers. We are experienced in resolving these difficulties as amicably as possible whilst ensuring your position is respected and a fair outcome for you.

Since 2005, gay and lesbian couples have been able to enter civil partnerships and to marry since 2013. We are experienced in advising gay and lesbian clients through dissolution or divorce proceedings.

What is the divorce process?

The person who applies for a divorce is called the ‘petitioner’. Their spouse is called the ‘respondent’.

The petitioner sends the court their divorce petition, marriage certificate and payment of £410 for the court fee.

After the divorce petition has been issued, the court will send the respondent the divorce petition and a form, called acknowledgement of service, which they must complete, sign and return to court within seven days.

The petitioner can then apply for decree nisi, which is the midpoint in the proceedings. After six weeks and one day have passed following the date of decree nisi, the petitioner can apply for decree absolute.

Once the decree absolute is pronounced, the divorce is complete and the marriage is legally dissolved.

Financial issues and concerns about the children (including spousal or child maintenance claims) are often top of mind for those facing a divorce.

To discuss your divorce options and to find out about your legal rights and responsibilities, contact us today.

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