Divorce & Separation

We understand that going through a divorce, separation or the dissolution of a civil partnership is a challenging and emotional time. We are available to advise and support you throughout the process. We are available to communicate with you discreetly and in a method that best suits your circumstances. This includes via a secure app, video conference, phone or email.

Get a free 30 minute initial consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.

All of our team are members of Resolution which is a national organisation of family lawyers committed to dealing with family matters in an amicable manner.

How can our team help?

Our team will give you the support and advice you need. To make the decisions which are right for you, you need to fully understand your options. We will explain your options to you and answer any questions you may have. You can speak with one of our solicitors in an initial fixed fee meeting to allow our team to really understand your concerns and priorities. In this meeting we will explain the process and your expected timeline.

In order to be eligible for a divorce, you must have been married for at least one year, your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK and the UK must be your permanent home (or that of your spouse).

There is only one ground for a divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To demonstrate this, you need to rely on one of five facts:

  • Adultery (time limits apply).
  • Unreasonable behaviour.
  • Desertion (for at least two years).
  • Two years’ separation and the other spouse consents to divorce.
  • Five years’ separation.

At present the divorce process usually takes between 10 to 12 months if matters are quite straightforward and you have been able to reach an agreement in relation to your finances.

The court fee to petition for a divorce in the UK is £550. This is payable at the time the petition is issued. This is separate from any additional fees you will incur if you have a solicitor acting on your behalf. To find out more about our rates, please get in touch.

If you have been sent a divorce petition, and you do not want to get divorced, it is possible to defend the divorce proceedings. It is really important that you seek legal advice before choosing to defend a divorce petition.

If you have reconciled, or changed your mind about the divorce, as the Petitioner you can decide to stop divorce proceedings at any time up until the grant of the decree absolute.

When resolving matters relating to divorce, such as finances and children, where possible we use alternative routes to Court, favouring such options as mediation and collaborative law to find the best solution for you. These processes could avoid the cost and stress of Court proceedings.

If these alternative routes are not the most appropriate for you situation, our team can advise and support you through Court Proceedings, to ensure you get the outcome you need.

The details of the divorce petition will remain private. The Decree Absolute, which is the document confirming the marriage has ended, is a public document. You can obtain a copy of your Decree Absolute from the court where you got divorced or the Central London Family Court.

Can you have a good divorce?

It is entirely possible to have a good divorce and the separating parties are completely in control of how their divorce progresses. If parties are able to discuss matters amicably and are both cooperative in the process it will go as smoothly as possible.

However, the law at the moment requires parties to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

What are the effects of divorce?

A divorce affects inheritance under a Will.

Although you may have separated, you remain legally married until Decree Absolute is granted within divorce proceedings. Obtaining Decree Absolute in divorce proceedings can however take time, and is often delayed to allow for financial matters to be resolved. As a result, if you die before Decree Absolute is granted, and without a will in place, your estate may pass to your spouse under the intestacy rules or under the terms of any will you have not reviewed. Therefore, you may wish to update your will upon any separation.

Once the final Order of divorce, the Decree Absolute, has been obtained you should also consider either changing your existing Will or making a Will. Obtaining Decree Absolute legally brings your marriage to an end and would mean that any gift to your spouse in your Will or appointment of them as executor will no longer take effect.

Please visit our Inheritance Protection team pages for further information regarding updating your Will.

Obtaining Decree Absolute in divorce means that you are no longer legally married. It does not resolve the financial claims that exist following a separation. It is important that you obtain advice on resolving financial matters as early as possible. You can find further information on resolving your financial arrangements here.

For more information on how we can help support you through your divorce or separation, please contact one of our solicitors in our offices below.

Our Family Law Team

Unsure who to contact? Make a general enquiry:

Newbury Thatcham Maidenhead London Windsor Swindon
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