Dealing with the breakdown of your relationship can be extremely distressing and intensely personal. Our team of family lawyers have considerable experience dealing with divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships and can guide you through the whole legal process.
The laws relating to divorce and dissolution in England and Wales have now changed. Couples no longer have to attribute blame when petitioning for divorce or dissolution thanks to the 'no fault divorce' regime which was introduced on 6 April 2022. Couples may now also jointly petition for divorce/dissolution. The hope is that the new regime will allow couples to separate on more amicable terms than the old regime previously allowed.
The legal requirements for dissolution of a civil partnership are broadly the same as for divorce. Any references below to divorce below will also apply to dissolving a civil partnership.
How do I get divorced?
Either one, or both parties on a joint basis, need to file a divorce petition with the Court. This is done via the court's online portal.
If your petition is approved, the divorce petition will be issued and served. The recipient of the divorce petition will then be required to file an Acknowledgment of Service with the Court. The Applicant (or in the case of a joint petition, either party) must then apply to the court for a Conditional Order (previously referred to as Decree Nisi) and later a Final Order (previously referred to as Decree Absolute). Details regarding the timescales of this are set out below. It is only once the court has issued the Final Order that you are legally divorced.
What do I need in order to get divorced?
To complete your divorce petition, you will need:
How much will it cost to get divorced?
The court fee for your petition is £593. This is payable by the Applicant however the parties may agree to split the fee. Any advice that you receive from a family lawyer will be charged separately. Unless otherwise agreed or there is a court order which states otherwise, each party shall be responsible for their own legal fees.
Do I need a solicitor for my divorce?
Some individuals decide to deal with their divorce themselves, however it is always advisable to get advice from a family solicitor before filing the petition. It is imperative that your divorce petition is correct to avoid delays, rejection by the court, or difficulties further into the process.
How long will my divorce take?
From issue of the petition to granting the Conditional Order (previously referred to as Decree Nisi), the parties are required to undergo a period of reflection. The minimum time period for this is 20 weeks. Thereafter the Final Order (previously referred to as Decree Absolute) cannot be granted in less than 6 weeks from the date of the Conditional Order. Not taking into account any delays in the court administration, couples can expect the whole process to take at least 6 months.
Will I need to go to court to get divorced?
No. Whilst your divorce petition, your application for a Conditional Order and your application for a Final Order are reviewed by a judge, you do not need to attend court. You may need to attend court if you cannot agree how you split your marital assets.
How do we divide our assets on divorce?
The division of assets is a separate process and is not part of divorce proceedings. For further information about how you deal with financial matters please click here.
Can I get divorced in the UK if I live abroad?
Yes, however there are requirements that need to be met for you to demonstrate that you have jurisdiction. This is a complex area of law and advice should be sought early on from a family law specialist as this can have significant financial consequences.
Please note that divorce laws differ throughout the UK countries, and the following applies to the laws in England and Wales only.
For more information, please see our article on getting divorced in the UK if you live abroad.
They are thoroughly professional and responsive. Regardless of the matter at hand, with VWV one always feels immensely supported and reassured.