Divorce and separation explained

We appreciate that if you have made the decision to divorce, this will be a confusing time for you.  Here, we explain here how divorce works, as well as defining some of the terminology that can make it hard to follow.

I want a divorce…am I eligible?

No matter the reasons for you wanting a divorce, there are factors that will determine whether you are eligible to divorce at this stage.

To be entitled to a divorce in the UK you must first have been married for at least a year and then be able to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.  Irretrievable breakdown is the only ground for a divorce in the UK and must be proven by one of the following five facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Continuous separation for two years where both parties agree to divorce
  • Five years separation (where no consent is required)
  • Where one has deserted the other for two years

I’m eligible…how do I file for divorce?

Once you have established that you are eligible to divorce, the divorce petition will need to be prepared and submitted to the court with the appropriate court fee.

The petition will then be sent to your spouse by the court.  Upon receipt, your spouse is required to return the ‘acknowledgment of service’ confirming that they have received the petition and indicating whether they intend to challenge the basis upon which the petition has been brought.

If the petition is uncontested, you are able to make the application for the Decree Nisi once the acknowledgement of service has been received.

At this stage the Judge will consider the contents of the divorce petition and confirm whether s/he is satisfied that you are entitled to the divorce.  If satisfied, the Judge will pronounce the Decree Nisi and after six weeks and one day you will be able to apply for a Decree Absolute, at which stage your marriage will be brought to an end.

Life after divorce

Once your divorce has been finalised, there may be other areas to address, such as making financial arrangements in terms of splitting assets or pension sharing orders, and making plans for your children. If you cannot reach these decisions amicably, Family Mediation would be an excellent way to discuss how to make these decisions with the best interests of all concerned.

We know that this can be a confusing and stressful time and we’re here to help.  We have many years experience of divorce proceedings and understand that every relationship is different, and that each person will have been through a different emotional journey to reach this point.

We are happy to discuss with you any questions that you may have relating to divorce, separation and family mediation. To ease your journey further, we have developed a range of fixed fee divorce packages, meaning you can handle your divorce in your way.

To make your first appointment to discuss your children’s future, call us on 023 8071 7431, email familyenquiries@warnergoodman.co.uk or fill in the enquiry form.

To speak to one of our experts please call us

I couldn’t have asked for any more, from beginning to end I was treated with great professionalism.