We will help you navigate through what is now a relatively straightforward process, albeit one which is often wrapped up in emotion and mistrust.
Ending a marriage or civil partnership is now relatively straightforward. The case can no longer be defended and is based on the assumption of “no-fault”.
The process is now completed online through the government website which offers helpful guidance.
One or both parties to a marriage or civil partnership can apply for a divorce or dissolution through the government website and will have to make a statement that their marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably.
Once the divorce/dissolution has been issued by the court there is a 20 week “cooling off” period before the applying party or parties can apply for their conditional order, which confirms that the parties are entitled to a divorce. 6 weeks and 1 day following the conditional order, the applying party or parties can apply for a final order, which will conclude the divorce process.
The court fee is £593 while our fees are likely to be between £500 and £750 plus VAT for any advice you may need in the background.
If you wish to file for a judicial separation, the court fee is £365, while our fees will likely be similar to those for a divorce. A judicial separation does not terminate your marriage but it does enable you to formalise a separation from your spouse and gives the court jurisdiction to make orders around a financial settlement similar to what you can achieve following a divorce.
Do I need to get divorced?
No, it’s entirely up to you. But there may be consequences if you remain legally married when the relationship ends and either you fail to address the financial claims you each have over each other as a result of your marriage, or you agree a financial settlement but do not have this legally sanctioned by the court and therefore leave your financial claims over each other open.
What happens if I don’t divorce?
You do not have to legalise your separation if you do not feel ready to, or if you do not feel the time is right to divorce. However, the main issues are financial: you cannot finalise any binding arrangement in respect of a financial settlement unless a divorce or judicial separation is filed. You can enter into a separation agreement to record any financial settlement agreed to, but this cannot be legally endorsed and therefore enforced.
If you delay filing a divorce, you should ensure your Will is up to date, any death in service benefits are updated and any jointly owned property reflects your intentions. This will not happen automatically by separating, but, all of these things can be regulated by a divorce and financial settlement.
What are the timescales and costs?
If you deal with the divorce yourself, the costs are limited to the court fee (currently £593).
A solicitor will charge you for dealing with the case. Usually this will be between £500 and £1,000 plus VAT, depending on the level of assistance you require.
The no-fault divorce system has cooling off periods of 26 weeks built in. This means a case should usually take around 7-10 months from the date the papers are filed.
Can the other party stop me from divorcing them?
In practical terms, no. The revised system does not allow a case to be defended and you can deal with the case online, without having to go to court. There may be situations where a party can be difficult, but in reality these can be overcome relatively easily.
What do I need to start a case and how do I do it?
You need to pay the court fee, complete the online forms and have a copy of your marriage certificate or a certified copy. If you were married in England and Wales, you can get a copy of your marriage certificate here. If your marriage certificate is in another language, you will need to have it formally translated.
Will I have to go to court?