In the following blog post we give a step by step guide to divorce
There are a number of conditions that must be satisfied regarding an individual's residence, or before it is possible to apply for a divorce petition in England and Wales.
You can only apply for Divorce after you have been married for at least one year. To start the divorce procedure the Petitioner needs to complete the Divorce petition, which is then sent to the Court together with the marriage certificate and the Court issuing fee of £550.
A Petitioner needs to show that the marriage irretrievably broke down. This can be established by one of the following five facts:
- Adultery of the other spouse;
- Unreasonable behaviour of the other spouse;
- Desertion by the other spouse after two years
- Separation with consent after two years;
- Separation without consent after five years.
Within eight days of the petition, the Respondent must send an acknowledgement of service to the Court. The Respondent must state if he or she intends to defend the petition, and if any claims for costs are disputed.
If the Respondent intends to defend the Divorce, within 29 days of the petition, he or she must send to the Court a Defence known as an Answer. A defended Divorce leading to a final contested hearing is unusual as the majority of parties reach an agreement during Divorce proceedings. A defended Divorce which leads to a final hearing is also considered very expensive.
If the Respondent intends to defend the case but does not respond within 29 days, the Petitioner can apply to the Court for directions for a trial. The Petitioner must complete an application for directions for trial and an affidavit of evidence, which are provided free from a court office.
Should the Respondent not defended the Divorce, then a few days after receiving the acknowl-edgement of service, the Petitioner can apply to the Court for the Decree Nisi. The Petitioner must provide a sworn affidavit to confirm that the contents of the acknowledgement of service are cor-rect. This includes the following:
- That the Respondent and any Co-Respondent has received the petition;
- That the respondent and any Co-Respondent admit to adultery if this was the grounds for divorce;
- That the Respondent consents to the Divorce if the grounds for Divorce were that both parties have been separated for and living apart for two years;
The Petitioner must swear an affidavit before an officer of the county court or the Principal Registry or a solicitor. The Application for Decree Nisi is sent to the Court along with the affidavit.
Following receipt of the application for the Decree Nisi, a Judge will review the documents to en-sure that everything is in order. The Court will send both the Petitioner and Respondent a certificate of entitlement to a decree, the certificate informs both parties of when the Judge will make the pronouncement.
The pronouncement normally happens around five weeks after sending the application to the Court. It is not a requirement that the parties attend when the Decree Nisi is pronounced, the Court will send to the Petitioner and Respondent confirmation.
If you have property abroad, own a business or you have a number of people who may wish to make a claim on your will, then things can get slightly more complicated. To learn how a LawBid divorce solicitor can help the procedure to run more smoothly, visit our divorce service area.
Once the Decree Nisi is pronounced, the Petitioner can apply to make it Absolute. The Petitioner can only apply after six weeks and one day from the pronouncement. The application to make the Divorce finalised will be processed within a few days and the Court can then grant the Decree Absolute ultimately, finalising the Divorce procedure/process.
Should the Petitioner fail to apply for a Decree Absolute, the Respondent can apply to make the Divorce final three months after the date the Petitioner should have applied for the Decree Abso-lute. Therefore; after four and a half months and one day after the Court grants the Decree Nisi. There is a fee of £255.
We hope that you have found our guide useful, however speaking to a Solicitor is the only true way to get the right advice for your specific matter. Post your case, and reach out to Divorce specialists today.