Divorce Lawyers

Divorce

We understand that the breakdown of a marriage is a highly stressful and emotional time. If you need to talk to a solicitor about a divorce, we would be happy to help and advise you at any point throughout the process. Talking to an experienced solicitor can be invaluable, providing reliable and practical advice and support at a difficult time.

What is a divorce?

Divorce is the legal process that dissolves a marriage. Once the divorce is finalised, you are no longer married.

How do I get a divorce?

In order to obtain a divorce, the court has to be shown that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. There are five ways of showing this, which are the Respondent’s adultery, the Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour, two years separation with the Respondent’s consent, desertion by the Respondent for a period of two years, and separation for five years.

No-Fault Divorce

Learn how a no-fault divorce could work when the decision to separate is a mutual one.

What This Means For You

The bill will introduce a new option, allowing couples to jointly apply for divorce where the decision to separate is a mutual one.

  • It also replaces terms such as “Decree Nisi” and “Decree Absolute” with “conditional order” and “final order”.
  • Petitioners will also be called “applicants” under the new provisions.

Under the new proposals, there must be a minimum six month period between lodging the petition to the divorce being made final.

Removing the needless blame game means that this process is less painful for both parties and hopefully will reduce conflict as a result.

Removing blame should also allow both parties to work more collaboratively which will have a positive impact especially where children are involved.

What Else You Need to Know

How do I start divorce proceedings?

To start the divorce, a divorce petition has to be completed and issued out of your nearest Regional Divorce Centre. The fee to start proceedings is £550 unless you are eligible for a fee remission (an application has to be made for this). This means you may not have to pay all or part of the court fee.

What happens if there are children?

The court no longer needs to know what arrangements have been made for the children of the family. If there is an issue over the arrangements for the children, parents are expected to resolve these themselves. Preferably any problems will be resolved without the use of court, for example through mediation, but the court can be used when no other option is available.

Visit the Children page

What else do I need to consider?

Family breakdown is rarely limited to divorce, and the emotional and financial needs of the children and the parties need to be considered. Further details are provided in the Children, and Financial Settlement section.

Visit the Financial Settlement page

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce FAQs

Q. Can I get a divorce?
A. The answer is yes, if you have come to the decision your marriage has irretrievably broken down and you have been married for a year.

Q. Can my spouse defend the divorce?
A. Yes, but defended divorces are not common and we can talk through various options with you to avoid such a scenario occurring.

Q. Can I avoid saying anything horrible in the divorce petition?
A. Divorce Proceedings based on “unreasonable behaviour” can be presented in such a way as to avoid further conflict or emotional distress. Equally, you could also consider instigating divorce based upon separation over a qualifying period such as 2 years.

Q. When I get my decree absolute am I divorced?
A. Yes, once you have Decree Absolute you are legally divorced (single) and should you so wish, are free to re-marry.

Spousal Maintenance on Divorce FAQs

Q. Is it available?
A. Yes, the court has the power to make this order in certain circumstances where your spouse is required to assist you with meeting your day to day needs.

Q. Will it be paid for the rest of my life?
A. Spousal maintenance for life is not a default position as there is an expectation for the recipient to become, if possible, financial independent. However the level of maintenance and length of time someone receives it are all down to the individual case.

Q. Will I get it whilst my children are small?
A. Whether you are entitled to spousal maintenance will depend on a number of factors that are individual to your case.

Q. Do I need to get a job?
A. Whether you “need” to get a job will be something that is considered during any discussions concerning the financial issues pertinent to your case. There remains an expectation however, that if possible, you should look to make the transition to financial independence as soon as is practicable.

If you would like to know more about this process or feel this could be something you would benefit from, please contact us at [email protected] or telephone Ipswich 01473 213311 or Colchester 01206 584584, where we will be happy to speak with you. ​

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