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Divorce: FAQ’s

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Q. My wife and I have recently separated and would now like to divorce. What do we need to do?

A. In England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce and that is the marriage has broken down irretrievably. To satisfy the court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown, you will need to prove one of five facts: adultery by the respondent, unreasonable behaviour by the respondent, 2 years' separation with consent, desertion or 5 years' separation.

Q. How do I start the divorce proceedings?

A. You will need to fill in a divorce petition and send this to the court with your original marriage certificate and the court fee, which is currently £593. The court will send a copy to the respondent. The respondent will need to return an acknowledgement of service form to the court. You can then apply for the decree nisi (interim decree). Six weeks and one day after decree nisi is pronounced you should be able to apply for the decree absolute (final divorce decree).

Q. How long is the divorce likely to take?

A. Divorce proceedings will usually take between 6 – 9 months but can take longer if there are financial matters and children matters to resolve. You may be advised by your solicitor not to apply for the Decree Absolute until financial matters have been resolved.

Q. How much will a divorce cost?

A. At stevensdrake our experienced family law team will handle the divorce for you from start to finish. A divorce usually costs in the region of £600 – £1200 plus VAT for solicitors’ fees plus disbursements and the court fee, currently £593. This is on the basis your spouse cooperates with the divorce process.

For dealing with the family finances on divorce see Financial Disputes on Divorce – Frequently asked questions.

If you would like to discuss divorce, dissolution or separation please contact our family law team on 01293 596947 to arrange a fixed fee appointment for £100 plus VAT (£120).

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