The breakdown of a relationship can be one of the most traumatic periods of anyone's life. Naturally, you will be concerned about your current financial and property arrangements and how it will affect any children you may have. Our Family law solicitors specialise in advising and representing clients in divorce cases. You will only be granted a divorce if you can demonstrate that your marriage has suffered an 'irretrievable breakdown'. To do this you must show that your marriage is beyond repair because:
your husband or wife has committed adultery;
your husband or wife's behavior is such that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them;
your husband or wife left you at least two years ago, without good reason and refuses to return;
you have been separated from your husband or wife for two years and they agree to the divorce; or
you have been separated from your husband or wife for five years or more.
If a divorce decree is against your religion, we can give you advice about other forms of separation and can use civil action to help you get a religious divorce.
The Divorce Process
The legal formality for getting a divorce is a relatively straightforward process. What is generally much less straightforward is sorting out the practical issues associated with a divorce, such as where each person will live, who gets what, and arrangements for any children. Before agreeing matters with your husband or wife, it is wise to seek our advice about your rights and the options available to you.
If you are applying for the divorce we will usually start the process by writing a letter to your husband or wife to tell them that you are planning to start divorce action. This letter will also recommend that your husband or wife gets independent legal advice if they have not done so already.
We will then send a divorce petition to the court, this petition sets out whether you will be asking your husband or wife to pay for the costs of the divorce or to provide some other sort of financial support for you or your children. the court will send a copy of this petition to your husband or wife for their solicitor to reply within seven days.
Once your husband or wife or their solicitors has replied to the petition, you will need to confirm your intention to go ahead with the divorce application by making a sworn statement or 'affidavit'. Your application is then lodged with the court. The original marriage certificate has to be sent to the court at the same time with the court fee which is presently £300.