Request a call back
Send us your contact details and we’ll call you!
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.
All non divorce petitions are now issued from a regional divorce centre. Depending on the courts workload it can vary between each region how long it will take the court to process the paperwork and ultimately finalise the divorce.
Generally a divorce which is straight forward takes between 5 and 6 months. There are certain instances when a divorce can take longer – there can be financial issues which 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.
- A divorce petition needs to be completed.
- The divorce paperwork is sent to your local divorce centre along with your marriage certificate (it must be the original) and payment of the Court fee which is currently £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 a form called the acknowledgement of service to the Court. The form will then be sent out to you.
- At this stage, a statement in support of your divorce petition is completed, along with an application for Decree Nisi. These documents are sent to the Court.
- The papers then go before a Judge. Once the Judge has 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 either an enquiry agent/process server is arranged to personally serve the divorce papers, or alternatively, an application can be made to get the Court Bailiffs to personally serve them.
- Once the report has been received confirming that the Respondent has been personally served, an application can be made 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.
"All communication and correspondence was dealt with quickly and efficiently"
"The mediator was very sympathetic and I felt I was listened to and believed."
"Thanks for all your efforts yesterday, highly appreciated. It was a win win for every body and above all great outcome for the child"
"I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your efforts over the last year. I found it a fantastic service from yourself and I’m using Ridley & Hall for the conveyancing of a property I’m buying due to that service. I’ll be sure to unreservedly recommend you to anyone needing legal advice now and in the future. Thanks again"
"Great service. The service from Vicky and Ridley & Hall was second to none. Overall, a satisfied customer."
"I was content with the level of service I received, thanks."
"I didn’t know what to expect but was very happy with the service you provided, thank you!"
"I have dealt with Melanie Hartley. At all times, all members of staff have been helpful and professional. I would highly recommend the firm."