The Divorce Process
Legally ending a marriage requires that you and your partner complete a series of steps in a defined divorce process.The process is designed to prove to a judge that you are serious about ending your marriage and that you have properly considered all aspects impacted by your decision, such as your children and your finances.
Reasons for Divorce
The Law of England and Wales determines that you must satisfy the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that you need to convince the Court that your marriage cannot be saved. To seek a divorce, you will be required to prove one of the following ‘facts’ (“Reasons for divorce”) in support of your divorce:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Two years’ separation without consent
- Five years’ separation (with or without consent)
Although change to the divorce legislation is being called for, there is currently no option for a “no fault” divorce.
According to the laws of England and Wales, there are specific conditions that apply to each of the above. For this reason, it is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified divorce solicitor before taking any action.
Petitioning for Divorce
The person applying for the divorce is known as the “Petitioner” throughout the divorce process and the other party will be known as the “Respondent”. If a third party is being named in a divorce based on Adultery, that person will be known as the “Co-Respondent”. The Petitioner will submit a Divorce Petition to the Court and the Court will issue the divorce proceedings and will send a copy of the divorce papers directly to the Respondent.
Once the Court has issued the application for divorce, a copy of the divorce papers will be posted directly to the other party (the Respondent). Included in the Court pack will be the “Acknowledgment of service form” which should be completed by the Respondent to confirm that they have received the divorce papers.
Where the Respondent does not contest the divorce and returns the Acknowledgment of service form to the Court, the application can be made by the Petitioner for the “Decree Nisi”.
The Petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute 6 weeks and 1 day after the date of the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi.
How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?
The divorce process takes between 4 to 6 months from start to finish although if the Court is particularly busy with cases, the process can take longer. If there are financial issues arising from your separation it may be that the application for “Decree Absolute” (the final step in the divorce process) will be delayed until the financial matters have been resolved.
For free initial telephone advice or to book a face to face consultation please complete the form below or call us on 01908 082442.