The starting point with any divorce in England or Wales is the drafting of a divorce petition. This is completed by the person bringing the divorce, known as the Petitioner.
The form asks you to explain why you believe your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You can give 1 of 5 possible reasons, which are:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- You have lived apart for more than 2 years and you both agree to the divorce
- You have lived apart for more than 5 years.
The divorce petition is sent to the appropriate Divorce Court along with the original marriage certificate. If the original marriage certificate cannot be obtained then a copy can be requested from the Register of Births and Deaths for a small fee.
The Court will then issue the divorce petition which means that they allocate it a Court reference number. The divorce petition is then sent by the Court to the Respondent, who is the other person named on the divorce petition.
Upon receipt of the divorce petition the Respondent has 14 days in which to return the Acknowledgement of Service to the Court. This form satisfies the Court that the Respondent has received the divorce petition.
The Acknowledgement of Service provides the Respondent with an opportunity to advise the Court that they have received the petition. It also gives them the chance to say whether they intend to defend the divorce petition and whether they have any objections to paying the Court fees, if the Petitioner has requested that.
When the Court receives the signed Acknowledgement of Service from the Respondent they will forward this out to the Petitioner who can then apply for the Decree Nisi. This is not the final decree in a divorce.
When the Decree Nisi has been granted by the Court the Petitioner has to wait 6 weeks and 1 day before being able to apply for a Decree Absolute. Once the Decree Absolute is issued the divorce is final and the marriage has legally ended.
At Co-op Legal Services our Divorce Solicitors can help you throughout the divorce process, whether you are the person bringing the divorce or defending the divorce.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
Divorce Courts in England & Wales are currently experiencing substantial delays, and as a result, a divorce is currently taking anywhere between 6 to 8 months from drafting a divorce petition to receiving the Decree Absolute.
How Much Does Divorce Cost?
For uncontested divorce we offer Fixed Fee Divorce for £600 including VAT. This service is for a divorce Petitioner and provides you with a Divorce Solicitor take to you through the usual steps to legally end a marriage in England & Wales.
For contested divorce we offer a Fixed Hourly Divorce Solicitor rate from £210 per hour including VAT.
Once we have provided you with a written quote for the agreed work to be done, that price will not change.
Court Fee: In addition to our fee, a Court fee of £550 is payable directly to the Court where you petition for divorce.