Divorce FAQs

Realising that your relationship has reached its conclusion can be an emotional and overwhelming time. Divorce proceedings aren’t something most people know much about before they require one. Our family solicitors encounter common questions from would-be clients on a regular basis and have compiled a list of answers to them here so that you can better understand what is involved in a divorce.

Question not answered below? Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and compassionate team of divorce lawyers on 0800 2800 421. We offer a 30-minute free consultation, so will be able to answer all your questions and help inform your next steps.

When can you get a divorce?

In order to be eligible for divorce, you must have been married for at least one year, your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK and the UK must be your permanent home (or that of your spouse).

How quickly can I get a divorce?

The average time for an uncontested divorce to be finalised in the UK is around 4-6 months. If the divorce is defended then it can take longer, depending on its complexity.

Our team of divorce lawyers can help you process your divorce as quickly as possible. Contact us today on 0800 2800 421 to get started.

What are the grounds for divorce?

In the UK, there is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To establish irretrievable breakdown, you have to rely on one of five facts, these are:

· Adultery

· Unreasonable behaviour

· Desertion

· Living apart for 2+ years (with spouse’s consent)

· Living apart for 5+ years (no consent from spouse required)

‘Unreasonable behaviour’ can cover a wide range of behaviours, from domestic abuse to lack of financial participation in household bills, to unfaithfulness.

How do I start divorce proceedings?

Before you apply for a divorce, it is best that you try and agree on the way forward with your partner. However, in cases where the relationship is less than amicable, this is not always possible.

Divorce can be a lengthy and complex process which differs from couple to couple. We therefore recommend that you consult with an experienced family solicitor before proceeding. For expert advice and guidance, contact Trethowans on 0800 2800 421 or arrange a callback using our quick contact form.

What happens if my spouse doesn’t want a divorce?

This could go one of two ways. If your spouse refuses to respond to your divorce proceedings by not returning the ‘acknowledgement of service’ form, then you could apply for deemed service. This is where the Court deems that there is no reason for you not to be granted a divorce. However, this may not be possible if the reason you have cited for divorce requires the explicit consent of your spouse.

Alternatively, your spouse could choose to defend the divorce. In this case, you will likely be required to attend a hearing before a judge who will ultimately determine if your marriage should be dissolved.

If your spouse is uncooperative, then you should consult with an experienced divorce solicitor to help you decide your next steps. To arrange a free 30-minute consultation with one of our expert family lawyers, call 0800 2800 421 or submit our quick contact form.

Who gets what in a divorce?

It is ultimately up to you and your partner to reach a settlement regarding child arrangements (previously referred to as custody), assets, property and finances. The court only becomes involved if one party specifically requests that they do, by issuing an application.

Mediation is a popular (and frequently required) route that you can take in order to reach an amicable and fair financial settlement. If there are any aspects you cannot agree on through mediation, then you can ask a Court to make the final decision.

Pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales but judges will take them into account when making their decision providing certain criteria are met.

At Trethowans, we have a team of qualified, experienced family mediators who can help you. Get in touch to arrange a free 30-minute consultation with an experienced family lawyer.

Can I stop divorce proceedings?

Yes, you can decide to stop divorce proceedings at any time up until the grant of the decree absolute. If the decree absolute has already been granted, then you are free to re-marry your spouse if you so choose. Many people choose to delay applying for the decree absolute until a financial settlement is decided.

Can we legally separate without a divorce?

Yes. If you wish to separate without filing for divorce, then you can apply for a separation petition. Like a divorce, this is granted by the court, but it allows you to live apart without ending your marriage. This is useful for those who object to divorce on religious or moral grounds or have been married for less than a year.

How much does a divorce cost?

The court fee to apply for a divorce in the UK is £550. This is payable at the time the petition is issued. This is separate from any additional solicitor fees. To find out more about our rates, contact our divorce solicitors on 0800 2800 421.