Everybody has the right to seek a divorce if they so decide, with or without the agreement of their partner.
We occasionally get clients coming to us saying that their husband or wife won’t let them get a divorce. In the vast majority of cases there is nothing that the other party can do to stop you.
The first step in applying for a divorce is to file an application called a divorce petition at court.
The court will send a copy to your spouse who is asked to sign a document called an “acknowledgement of service” and to return that to the court within 7 days.
The court then sends a copy of that acknowledgement to us on your behalf and we apply for the decree nisi. This is not the final order but confirmation that you are entitled to a divorce. We can then apply for the final order, called a decree absolute, six weeks and a day after the date of the decree nisi.
Once you have got your decree absolute then you are free to marry again.
When you apply for a divorce you have to choose one of five reasons why your marriage has broken down irretrievably. The three most common types of divorce petition are unreasonable behaviour, adultery or living apart for two years. For the living apart option both partners have to agree to the divorce.
This is a simple quickie divorce. If both sides agree and if there are no complicated issues such as issues or finances to resolve then the divorce can be concluded in between 3 and 4 months depending on how quickly the court turnaround the paperwork.
You can do a straight forward divorce like this yourself or use a solicitor but it will be sensible to discuss your circumstances and needs with us before you choose so that you can make sure that you are not missing something that you might regret later.
Many of our clients are busy professionals and they choose to pay us to do this work for them rather than have a further demand on their own limited time in researching, completing and checking paperwork. You will also have the peace of mind that you are not missing anything that could have serious and expensive repurcussions further down the line.
Contested divorces are very rare. This happens when the receiving partner denies the allegations of unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Contested divorces can become very expensive. Being able to find a way forward and reach agreement on the divorce process will always save time, heartache and money. This, again, is the reason why you need the services of a specialist solicitor.
Once you have your decree absolute then the marriage is over but there are still some other issues to consider. For example there will often be an effect on your Will. Also you should make sure that you do not remarry before you have exhausted any financial claims against your spouse.
Likewise if you have divorced and you are thinking of remarrying then you should speak to us before you do to make sure that there are no outstanding issues from your previous marriage that need to be resolved.
Why should I speak to a specialist solicitor?
Are there any pitfalls to a DIY divorce?
What is the process and cost of getting a divorce?
How can I prepare for the divorce proceedings?
What is the difference between divorce and separation?