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Family Department

For every step of your journey


Divorce is usually a very stressful life event and the legal steps involved can be confusing. At a time when emotions are running high it is best to seek professional and structured advice to ensure any decisions made are the right ones for you.

A couple can divorce in England & Wales provided they have been married for one year and the relationship has irretrievably broken down. There are three stages to the divorce process; filing a petition, applying for Decree Nisi and applying for Decree Absolute.

Considerable thought should be given to the reason for the divorce and which fact you could use to prove to the court that the marriage has broken down. These facts are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years separation with consent and 5 years separation without consent. Other areas for careful thought will be children of the family, money, assets and any possessions. Often the divorce is completed at the same time as dealing with the marital finances.

We can guide you through this process and explain how you may be affected financially in the years to come. Once a court pronounces Decree Absolute then you will no longer legally be termed a ‘spouse’. This can affect things such as widow/widower benefits and wills.

There will be court fee payable to begin a Divorce which is currently £410. There are circumstances where a person may qualify for a fee exemption. We can advise on funding your Divorce.

You may be in the position where you have received a divorce petition from the court. If you are in receipt of a Notice of Proceedings form and an Acknowledgement of Service form then we can advise you on how to proceed in responding to a divorce petition.

Civil Partnership Dissolution

You can apply to dissolve a civil partnership if you have been in the partnership for over a year. You must demonstrate to the court that the partnership has broken down irretrievably. There are four facts available to prove that the partnership has broken down, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation after 2 years with consent and separation after 5 years without consent.

As with parties in a divorce, careful thought must be given to the separation of money, assets and possessions and in particular any children of the partnership.

There are three stages to dissolution which mirrors the divorce process; filing a dissolution petition, applying for a conditional order and applying for a final order.

We can advise you on all aspects of the dissolution process and explain how financial separation may affect you in the future.

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