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Divorce & Separation
Separation, divorce and dissolution of a civil partnership can be a very difficult time for all concerned. As well as the emotional side of the divorce, there are the legal implications.
If you want to separate but NOT get a divorce then there are steps you can take to record any separation agreement about children and finances. You should obtain legal advice about this.
Divorce or Judicial Separation (legal separation) can be straightforward when you know what to do. For most people, divorcing is a very big step to take. Many divorcing couples have difficulties sorting out arrangements for the children, or sorting out financial issues. We will guide you through the divorce process and ensure you make the right decisions for you and your family.
Generally a divorce which is straight forward takes between 5 and 6 months. There are certain instances when a divorce can take longer – this is because the financial issues need to be sorted out, and you might be advised not to apply for the decree absolute until that has been done. Alternatively, there may be difficulties with the other person not returning papers. We can help you overcome these obstacles.
- We need to complete a divorce petition.
- We send the divorce paperwork to your local county court along with your marriage certificate (it must be the original) and payment of the Court fee of £550.
- The Court will then take a few days generally to check the paperwork is right, and to allocate the case a case number – this is very important, and is used by the court to identify your case. They will then send the papers to the other person (the Respondent).
- The Respondent has 14 days to return the form to the Court. The form will then be sent out to you.
- At this stage, we must complete a statement in support of your divorce petition, along with an application for Decree Nisi. We will need to send these documents to the Court.
- The papers then go before a Judge. Once the Judge has time to read your papers, they will check to make sure that everything is order, and the Judge believes you have the grounds to be divorced. If the Judge is satisfied that everything is in order he or she will list your case for pronouncement of Decree Nisi. This is listed, and you will receive notification of the date and time that the Court will be making this announcement. There is usually no need to go to court, unless there is a disagreement between you and the Respondent about costs, in which case the Judge may need you to attend Court. We can represent you at this hearing.
- 6 weeks and 1 day after the making of the decree nisi, we can apply for your decree absolute. There may be financial issues to sort out, so we will always advise you whether it is better to wait.
- To get your decree nisi you have to satisfy a court that you have served the Respondent with the papers.
- This will mean that we may have to either arrange to get an enquiry agent/process server to personally serve the divorce papers, or alternatively, we will have to make an application to get the Court Bailiffs to personally serve them.
- Once we have the report back confirming that the Respondent has been personally served we can apply for your decree nisi, even though the Respondent hasn’t returned the papers.
Yes you can, provided that you can confirm to the Court that even though you are living under the same roof, you are maintaining separate households. This means that we have to confirm to the court that you are not sharing meals, you are not sharing a bed, you do not have sex, you do not cook and clean for each other, and that your finances are, as far as possible, separated. The Judge may ask for a statement from each of you to confirm that is the position.
You can only rely on the ground of adultery if there is an admission that adultery has been committed. If the Respondent will not admit to the adultery, then you cannot go ahead on that ground. We would then have to consider if there were grounds for divorce under the heading of unreasonable behaviour.
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