Points to Note About Divorce

  • The divorce process is quite straightforward and you will find a procedural timetable on our website.
  • You need to have been married for a minimum of 1 year before you can bring a petition.
  • You need to have grounds for the divorce and simply saying you don’t get on anymore doesn’t cut it. It’s a good idea to have a chat it through with a solicitor to see what grounds you do have.
  • You may be living under the same roof but still be classed as ‘separated’. Take advice on this.
  • There’s no such thing as ‘quickie divorce’ but there is pretty much ‘divorce on demand’ in the UK. So if you’ve been married for a year and have grounds, you can get a divorce decree in about five to six months if the proceedings are undefended. The court insists on the paperwork being filled in accurately and if you are a novice this can be time consuming and frustrating. The new Family Proceedings Rules which came in in 2011 aim to simply the forms and procedure on filing for a divorce.
  • Some clients are concerned that they might not be ready for a divorce and we certainly have referred many people on for counselling. Lots of people make an appointment to see a solicitor as a knee jerk reaction to an argument, and they’re looking at the symptoms rather than the cause. Counselling will enable you to look at what is behind your feelings and is highly recommended. We can give you some names of people if you would like to give it a try.
  • If you feel that the marriage is over, you generally should make a decision about divorce. In the UK, you can stop the proceedings at any time and we have had a good few cases over the years where the spouses have reconciled and simply withdrawn everything at court.
  • Do bear in mind that as a result of your divorce, you will all experience a reduction in your standards of living.
  • Divorce itself doesn’t have to be acrimonious. We try here to agree the terms of the divorce with the spouse. Most divorces are brought on unreasonable behaviour grounds, but what we find is that husbands and wives have just grown apart over the years, and no longer have any shared interests. Sometimes they are just living together for the sake of their children, but it may not be in the children’s best interests to see you arguing all the time.
  • You can’t bring a petition based upon your spouse’s adultery if you have lived with as ‘man and wife’ for six months or more after you found out about it.
  • Clients ask us if they have to go to court to get a divorce and the answer is ‘no’. If your petition is uncontested by your spouse, it’s just a paper exercise and you don’t have to go anywhere near a court.
  • You can’t obtain a binding financial settlement unless you have concluded your divorce proceedings.