Taking the confusion out of divorce for you!
Divorce is one of the toughest times you might face yourself in, often fraught with emotion and confusion. Our knowledgeable solicitors are on hand to lead the way!
This post is intended to guide you through the divorce process. Firstly, you must of course be married/registered for twelve months or more before you are able to seek dissolution.
There are five grounds to proceed with divorce/dissolution these are:
- Unreasonable behaviour : where one party considers the other has behaved unreasonably.
- Desertion : where one party has intentionally been absent for two years or more.
- Separation : where the parties have lived separate and apart for five years.
- Separation : where the parties have lived separate and apart for two years with the other party providing consent.
- Adultery : (this is not relevant to civil partnerships).
To start the process, a document known as the Divorce Petition is completed and filed at your local Family Court. This petition will set out at least one of the five grounds set out above. A court fee of £550 is required together with your marriage certificate. Where possible, this fee can be reduced and we always try to negotiate fees and costs with the other party.
Following this the court will send a copy of the petition to the respondent (the other party) together with an Acknowledgement of Service form. The respondent is required to complete, sign and return it within fourteen days.
The Acknowledgement of Service invites the respondent to confirm whether they agree to the divorce and the basis of it, to include costs.
If the respondent fails to respond (which can happen frequently), there are a range of measures which you can take to ensure the notice is delivered. This can include personal service to allow you to proceed to the next stage whether your spouse has replied or not.
As solicitors accredited by the Law Society, and members of Resolution we aim to deal with your divorce in a way which is amicable and non confrontational. Experience tells us that a conciliatory approach often helps tremendously.
Once the divorce is acknowledged (if it is not disputed) the petitioner is able to apply for the Decree Nisi, being the first of the two decrees of divorce. This is done by completing a statement verifying that the facts of the petition are true and correct. The completed acknowledgement of service is exhibited to the statement and the document is sent to the court together with an application for the pronouncement.
The court sends out notification of the date of pronouncement to both parties. Pronouncement is made in open court where the parties’ full names are read out, to give an opportunity to anyone who has any objections to raise them at this time. Any applications for costs are also given consideration.
Once the Decree Nisi is pronounced, six weeks and one day afterwards the petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute, to dissolve the marriage. Until this point, you will remain legally married!
So what next?
Our team of experts at Justin Law Solicitors can provide a full service from start to finish in respect of your divorce matter. We will deal with you and your case discreetly, sympathetically, and with consideration for your circumstances.
Call us today on 01752 325100 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment; we even have Saturday appointments available by request!