Divorce

Our family solicitors specialise in all aspects of family breakdown, especially when it involves complex financial and property matters and importantly any children.

If you are to divorce, we offer the maximum support and advice from our legal team to make sure you are protected.

Dealing with matters in a conciliatory way is advisable, but when necessary we will fight your corner.

Our Family Law Team, who are dedicated specialists, are members of Resolution, while Howard Gardener is a member of the Family Mediators Association.

Grounds of Divorce

In order to get divorced you must prove that you have been married for at least one year and that the marriage has irretrievably broken down for one of these reasons:

  • Your spouse has committed adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separation over two years and your spouse agrees to the divorce
  • Your spouse has deserted you for more than two years
  • You have lived apart from at least five years

Based on the information that you provide us we will be able to advise you on the grounds which apply best to your circumstances. This information will then be entered on the divorce petition and will form the Grounds of Divorce.

The Divorce Process

To start the process you must file the divorce petition in Court, together with your marriage certificate and the Court fee, which is currently £550.

A copy of this document is sent to your spouse who must complete an Acknowledgement of Service, stating whether or not they agree to the divorce.

If your spouse indicates that they do not intend to defend the divorce, then the Court will inform both spouses of the date of pronouncement of the Decree Nisi. This is a document that says the Court does not see any reason why you cannot divorce. A copy of the Decree Nisi will be sent to both spouses or their solicitors. 

After six weeks and one day you can apply for a Decree Absolute. A Decree Absolute is the legal document that ends your marriage. If the Court is happy to issue a Decree Absolute this will be sent to both spouses or their solicitors. Obviouly this doesn’t deal with financial matters.

Neither you nor your former spouse can remarry until a Decree Absolute has been issued by the Court.

If, however, the divorce is defended, then the process will be complex and you may need to go to Court. You may also need to attend Court if you are not able to resolve issues regarding children and finances.

Should you find yourself receiving a divorce petition from your spouse our Family Law team is here to help you. We will be able to assist you with filing the Acknowledgement of Service, which must be done within eight days.

If you wish to talk to us about defending a divorce petition, we will be more than happy to do so.

Once you are divorced we strongly recommend that you make a new Will as soon as possible. Our Wills and Probate team will be happy to prepare a Will for you.