When a married couple decides to go their separate ways, their union would be brought to an end officially by a Decree Absolute issued by a competent Court of law. But the process of setting divorce in motion starts when one of the couples fills out a Court form and files it in a Family court. The person that files the form in court would be known as the Petitioner, while the form he or she filed is a divorce petition. The other spouse would be the Respondent. So in simple terms, a divorce petition is just an application to the court to grant a divorce.
WHO CAN MAKE A DIVORCE PETITION ?
It is not possible to file a divorce petition if your marriage is under one year. So, you must have been married for at least one year and over before you can be able to file for divorce in England and Wales. However, note that one of the five grounds for divorce must arise before you can file a divorce petition.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
You must show that your marriage has broken down irretrievably before you can rely on any of the five grounds for divorce to file a divorce petition. The five grounds are:
Two years separation (Your spouse must give consent before you can rely on this ground)
Five years separation (Your spouse does not need to give consent before you can rely on this ground to file a divorce petition)
It is essential to speak to a solicitor to advise you on the best ground to rely on in your divorce petition. We are divorce experts and can handle your divorce satisfactorily at a very reasonable cost. You can fill our enquiry form below for us to contact you, or you can call our phone number:
01375251612 or 07828443503 (24 hrs).
HOW TO APPLY FOR DIVORCE
If you satisfy all the requirements stated above, then you can proceed to apply for divorce to be granted. It proceeds in stages:
File a divorce petition for Decree Nisi to be pronounced
Decree Nisi Pronounced
Apply for Decree Absolute
FILE A DIVORCE PETITION
The first step is to download the divorce form and fill it out. You have to submit it with all the supporting documents and the correct Court fee. A copy of your application and acknowledgement form would be sent to your spouse (The Respondent), which he or she needs to acknowledge within eight days to indicate if your petition would be contested or not.
When a divorce petitioner applies for a divorce, a Judge would consider the merits of the application. If the Respondent does not intend to contest it, a Decree Nisi would be pronounced. Please note that your divorce has not been finalised at this stage. The petitioner can only apply from six weeks and one day for a Decree absolute to be granted.
After six weeks and one day that Decree Nisi was pronounced, you can apply for Decree Absolute. Decree Absolute is what would legally end your marriage if it is granted.
HOW LONG DOES A DIVORCE TAKE?
It must be noted that how long a divorce takes depends on numerous factors. It might be easier to predict the duration of a divorce where both parties have no financial settlement or children to contest. But in a straight forward divorce where the Respondent accepts the petition, it would take between 4 and 6 months to finalise a divorce. What if there is a financial settlement involving high net worth assets? It is not unusual to see a divorce taking over two years to conclude in this type of case. That is why the duration of any divorce is dependent on a lot of factors.
HOW MUCH DOES DIVORCE COST ?
Because divorce is a complex matter, most lawyers prefer to charge per hour, packages or stages. It all depends on your agreement with your solicitor. But please note that you also need to pay for disbursements. Disbursements are payments made on your behalf to third parties, including the Court divorce fee, which is £550, and payments to Counsels if your matter would be contested. In a nutshell, how much your divorce would cost is dependent on a lot of factors. It would not be much if it is not contested, but if it is a contested divorce, unfortunately, Financial and Child Arrangement orders can make it expensive.
WHAT FACTORS CAN CAUSE REJECTION OF A DIVORCE PETITION ?
Though it is always advisable to use a solicitor to file your divorce petition if for any reason you decide to do it on your own, certain factors can cause it to be rejected and returned to you:
You must ensure that your marriage certificate is enclosed with the form when filing it.
Make sure that the form is filled correctly without error(s)
To minimise rejection, even if you will do it yourself, try to visit a solicitor’s office and ask them to check the form for you.
WHY YOU NEED TO USE A DIVORCE LAWYER
If it is so easy, as stated above, there would not be any need to use a divorce lawyer. But the truth is that a divorce petition is only a trigger to other aspects of divorce. A divorce lawyer would assess many things in your relationship and establish if you are even married? It is common for some people to rely on common law to believe that they are married, while in the real sense, they are not. But the most important reason why you need a divorce lawyer is to have proper guidance on issues relating to your child(ren) and finances. Without a divorce lawyer, you must be walking on a minefield if your spouse has one.
MUST I USE DIVORCE LAWYERS NEAR ME ?
The answer is NO. However, many people prefer to use divorce lawyers near them to easily walk into the lawyer’s office for updates on their cases. But such a decision can make anyone lose the opportunity offered by modern technology to have access to the best divorce and affordable lawyers all over the UK. You do not need to be in a Solicitor’s office to give instructions. The recent lockdown proved that technology has made it possible for anyone to instruct lawyers irrespective of their locations.
HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DIVORCE LAWYERS FREE CONSULTATION
There are a lot of divorce lawyers that offer free consultations. You can search online for law firms that provide such services. However, please note that their free consultations are always restricted to less than 30 minutes. It depends on how complex your case is; such services may not be suitable for everyone. But if your case is not complex, you can take advantage of such services to assess the strength of your matter without any financial commitment. But with law firms like ours that are affordable, do you need to start searching for a free consultation with time restrictions?
WE ARE FAMILY LAW EXPERTS. PLEASE FILL OUR ENQUIRE FORM BELOW FOR US TO CONTACT YOU OR CALL US ON 01375251612 OR 07828443503 (24 HRS)