How to file for Divorce



How to file for Divorce

Deciding to end a marriage can be an extremely confusing and stressful time, full of uncertainty and not knowing where to turn next.  When families split up, it can raise many questions about how best to move forwards.  Here we have provided some guidance on what happens when you make the decision to divorce.

To be entitled to a divorce, all of the following must apply:

  • You have been married for at least a year
  • Your relationship has irretrievably broken down
  • Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK
  • Either yourself or your spouse have a permanent home in the UK

How do I get Divorced?

The stages of the divorce process are as follows:

  • Decide on the grounds of your divorce (see full details below)
  • Complete a Divorce Petition
  • Submit the Petition to a Divorce Centre with the Court fee of £550.00.
  • Apply for a Decree Nisi
  • Apply for a Decree Absolute (6 weeks and 1 day from receipt of the Decree Nisi)

What will I need to Divorce?

To apply for a divorce you will need:

  • Your spouse’s full name and address
  • The original (or certified copy) of the Marriage Certificate. You will need a certified translation if the Marriage Certificate is not in English.
  • If you have changed your name since the marriage you will need to provide proof of this.

Grounds for Divorce

Currently in England and Wales if you wish to divorce, then you must prove to the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.  However, simply saying you no longer wish to be together is not enough under the law as it currently stands. The breakdown has to be proved in one of five distinct ways.

These are:

  1. Adultery – your spouse has been having sexual intercourse with someone else and you no longer wish to live with them
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour – your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
  3. Desertion – your spouse has disappeared without any explanation or reason and has been gone for at least two years
  4. Two-year Separation – you have lived apart for at least 2 years and you both agree to a divorce
  5. Five year separation – you have lived apart for at least 5 years in which case no agreement is necessary

The only two grounds which can be used to immediately end a marriage are Adultery and Unreasonable Behaviour.

Adultery can be difficult to prove unless you have a written confession and accordingly unreasonable behaviour is an option which is often used.   The behaviour does not have to be appalling or violent but it is important to note that the Court will need to be satisfied that the matters raised are sufficiently serious to justify a divorce based on unreasonable behaviour.

Applying for a Divorce Online

There is now the option of a ‘DIY Divorce’ where you can complete the forms yourself (without instructing a solicitor).  See more information here.

However, experience shows that proceeding by way of a DIY divorce can often lead to delays and confusion regarding what is, and is not acceptable in terms of wording and evidence, making it expensive to proceed.  DIY divorces do not always go to plan and you may find you need to instruct a Solicitor to represent you.

Instructing Andrew Isaacs Law to deal with your Divorce

When it comes to divorce law, we have a great wealth of experience in achieving amicable outcomes even in the most awkward and difficult situations.  We know from experience that each person’s situation is unique. We have seen virtually everything over the years. This is where our expertise can be vital in protecting your interests.

You may have concerns relating to arrangements for your children, your finances or even the family home.

If you can reach an agreement with your spouse, it is essential that it means what you think it does. You can ensure this by speaking to us and letting us draft or amend any documents. Divorce and family law can be very complicated, especially if you get it wrong!

What about our Finances?

Your finances are completely separate from your divorce and even if you are divorced it is imperative that you take advice in respect of resolving financial matters and are aware of the risks if you do not.

Contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our dedicated family lawyers who can talk you through the process, provide you with clear understandable legal advice and a tailored plan of action based on your own unique situation in order to protect yourself, your family and you finances.



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