What is the process and cost of getting a divorce?

Everybody has the right to seek a divorce if they so decide, with or without the agreement of their spouse.


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 obtaining the divorce that you seek.


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 seven days.


The court will then send a copy of that acknowledgement to us on your behalf and we can then apply for the decree nisi.  The decree nisi is an order confirming that you are entitled to a divorce.  You can then ask us to 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 your petition will state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.  You then have to provide one of five reasons why it has broken down.  The three most common types of divorce petition are unreasonable behaviour, adultery or living apart for two years.  Both partners have to agree if using this last ground for 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 three and four 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 need 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 something that you might regret later.


Contested divorces are very rare.  This happens when the receiving husband or wife 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 previous husband or wife.


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.