Initial Telephone Discussion 

Our expert solicitors are here to take the worry off your hands. Please call us on 01256 460830 or email [email protected] and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.


The family law team at Phillips 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.


How to get in contact

Our team is on hand to help you and can assist wherever you are based. Please call on 01256 460830 or email [email protected] and we will call or email you back.


What Our Clients Say

Jane Royle, Basingstoke
"From the first meeting onwards I felt supported and guided through the huge range of emotions that came along with the divorce. Phillips gave me sound advice on many different matters regarding the divorce and I always felt my many questions were valued and dealt with no matter how small it was."
Mrs Adams, Reading
"Phillips worked incredibly hard to achieve a much more positive, sustainable future as well as financial security that would never have otherwise been achieved for me and my children. They have been solid and dependable and shown absolute integrity throughout. Phillips were direct and firm but at the same time kind and reassuring. They really cared and never lost sight of achieving fairness as well as financial security, and peace of mind, for my family, for which I will be forever grateful."
Mrs Coles, Basingstoke
"This was my first encounter with a law firm and I had little idea what to expect in the divorce process. Phillips listened, understood my situation and made the law completely accessible to me, whilst helping me to avoid my negotiations with my ex-husband becoming acrimonious. I really valued feeling 'part of the conversation', being given regular updates and not left wondering what was going on."
Steve and Sharon George, Basingstoke
"Our solicitors was professional, knowledgeable and courteous at all times in his communication with us and during face-to-face meetings. He explained all options in a clear and concise manner and advised on the best course of action to take to achieve a positive outcome. We always felt that he had our best interests to the fore and had thoroughly studied all documents provided to him. He is a credit to Phillips Solicitors. Should we be in need of legal services in the future we would certainly not hesitate to contact Phillips."
Rob Sendall, Hook
"Phillips Solicitors and in particular the very capable senior partner Howard Gardener have provided me with an absolutely first class service. The advice was always clear, confident and unambiguous and the outcome was better than I could have hoped for. I shall enthusiastically recommend Howard in future and wish all at Phillips well. "
SF - Chineham
"I cannot praise our solicitor highly enough. He was been incredible in dealing with my case. From my first meeting he was very professional and highly personable; showing sensitivity and understanding whilst remaining totally focused on his legal role. He handled my case impeccably and I now recommend him to all my friends and family."