How to get a divorce in England: the basic steps

By 25th January 2019 Family Law No Comments

Sometimes things just don’t work out and divorce really might be the best thing for your family and personal health.

Getting a divorce in England isn’t as complicated as you think, but it’s a process that needs to be carefully completed, step-by-step, and we recommend you do this with the assistance of a solicitor that you trust.

A lot of our followers and customers have asked us what the process is of getting a divorce, so here is how to get a divorce:

Can you get a divorce?

First of all, can you actually be divorced at this point in time? In England, you can only get a divorce if you have been married for at least a year and your marriage has permanently broken down. Your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK and you must have a permanent home in England.

Valid grounds for divorce

When filing for a divorce, you and your partner will need to prove that your marriage has broken down due to one or more of the following reasons:

Adultery

If your husband or wife committed adultery, this is considered a justified reason for a divorce, as long as you divorce within 6 months of the discovery of the adultery.

Unreasonable behaviour

Unreasonable behaviour can be physical violence, verbal abuse, drink or drug abuse, financial disagreements and other behaviours that cannot be reasonably justified.

Desertion

If your husband or wife left you without your agreement this can be considered a reason to end a marriage. To claim desertion, you need to be separated for at least two and a half years and you must both agree you want to divorce.

You‘ve been separated for more than two years

As mentioned above, if you have been separated for more than two years and both agree to divorce in writing then that can be considered a valid ground.

You’ve been separated for at least five years

If you have been separated for at least five years you can apply for a divorce even if your husband or wife does not agree.

Agreeing on issues

Before you apply for a divorce both parties need to agree and sort out child maintenance payments for any children and divide your property and money that you shared. If you need help agreeing on these matters, we can help make sure you get the right legal advice.

Apply for a divorce

In order to apply for divorce you will need a lot of information such as your husband or wife’s address details, full name, your marriage certificate and proof of your name change.

Once your application is finalised and sent out it will be checked and if it’s correct you will get a notice that your application has been issued, a case number and a copy of your application stamped by the divorce centre.

A copy of the application will be sent to your husband or wife including an acknowledgement of service form that they will need to respond to for your divorce to be decided.

Apply for a decree nisi

Applying for a decree nisi is only needed in cases where the husband or wife disagree with the divorce application.

This, unfortunately, can make the divorce process longer, to get the decree nisi you will need to fil in the application and a statement explaining what is stated in your divorce application is true.

If the degree nisi gets approved you will be able to apply for a decree absolute to end the marriage, if the application for a decree nisi get rejected the reasons why will be explained and you might need to provide more information.

Apply for a decree absolute

The decree absolute is the final document that ends a marriage.  After applying for a decree nisi you will have to wait at least 43 days to be able to apply for a decree absolute.

After you have completed all the previous steps all you need to do is apply for a decree absolute, fill in the notice of application for the decree nisi to be made absolute.

 

We can help in financial settlements, relationship breakdown, separation agreements, parental responsibility, child law and care proceedings. 

For more details on divorce and family law please call us on 01325 482 299 or use the contact form on our website for an initial free chat.