We understand that getting a divorce can be an unsettling and emotionally challenging time for many. Rest assured that our legal experts have 30 years of experience in handling divorce proceedings. We treat all of our clients with the highest levels of professionalism and discretion.
What is the purpose of a divorce?
A divorce is the legal ending or dissolution of a marriage between two spouses. Even though the two partners may already have separated, a divorce terminates their marital relationship legally.
Who can get a divorce?
In England and Wales, you can get a divorce if one of the following applies:
- You have been married to your wife or husband for one year or longer.
- Your marriage is legal in the UK, meaning both heterosexual and same-sex married partners can get a divorce.
- You and/or your wife or husband are a permanent resident(s) of the UK.
- Your relationship with your wife or husband has permanently broken down.
How can Garratts’ divorce solicitors help?
At Garratts, we will guide you through all elements involved in a divorce, from helping you decide on the main grounds for your divorce to representing you at court. We understand that this can be a very difficult time for you and your family and will discuss all matters with the greatest degree of confidentiality and professionalism.
How can I get a divorce?
To get a divorce in England and Wales, you will need to provide the court with sufficient grounds that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.
What are the grounds for a divorce?
As part of applying for a divorce, you must evidence one of the following grounds;
- Adultery (in opposite-sex marriages)
Your spouse engaged in sexual intercourse with another person.
- Unreasonable behaviour
Your spouse behaved so unreasonably towards you that you cannot be expected to live with. This type of behaviour is very wide-ranging, and the threshold for unreasonable behaviour is a lot lower nowadays and is what you find unreasonable.
- Separation of two years or longer
Provided you and your spouse agree and have been separated for a minimum of 2 years, you may divorce based on this reason.
- Separation of five years or longer
You may divorce your spouse if you have been separated for the last five years or longer and do not require your spouse’s consent.
If your spouse left or ‘deserted’ you for a continuous period of two years or more, you may apply for a divorce without requiring their consent.
How to apply for a divorce
If you wish to apply for a divorce, you will need to have the following documents:
- Your spouses’ full name and address.
- Your original marriage certificate or certified copies. Please note that you will require a certified translation if your marriage certificate is not written in English.
- If you have changed your name since you got married, you will need to prove this.
How much does it cost to apply for a divorce?
You will need to pay a non-refundable application fee to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service when you apply by post or online. The application fee is currently set at £593 for divorces in England and Wales. If you want to instruct us to assist you with your divorce, our fees will be in addition to the above.
How long does a divorce take?
The complexities involved in your divorce and whether or not your spouse agrees will determine the duration of the entire process. The party receiving the divorce will generally be sent an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form for your divorce application between 10 and 28 days after submitting it.
It is unusual for divorces to take over a year to complete, as most divorces are straightforward. It is unusual for them to be defended, in which case they should not last longer than 6 months from beginning to final decree (Decree Absolute). However, we may advise you to delay finalizing the divorce until the financial issues are complete. Cases may exceed this timeframe where the other party does not respond to the divorce, and personal service is required. (This extra work will incur additional fees.)
Do finances and child arrangements form part of a divorce?
Financial settlements will come into play when proceeding with a divorce. The effect of a divorce has a significant impact on a family’s financial situation both now and in the future. A divorce allows spouses to pursue financial orders or create a clean break between them. Before going ahead with a divorce, you should seek advice concerning finances.
Children arrangements do not form part of the divorce, and you may also seek legal advice from your solicitor regarding arrangements for any children you have with your spouse. To speak to our team of solicitors, call us on 0161 665 350.