Deciding to file for divorce can be extremely stressful and complex, which is why many people opt to use a divorce solicitor. If you do have children or property together and you anticipate your relationship will not end amicably, it is usually best to seek legal advice. Our expert divorce solicitors are based in Brighton and Hove and will always push to get you the best settlement.
What Is Divorce?
Divorce is the process of ending a divorce or civil partnership and can broadly be split into 4 stages:
- Serving the divorce petition
- Acknowledgement of service by your spouse, or you if your spouse is divorcing you
- Obtaining the decree nisi as long as you have valid grounds for divorce
- Obtaining the decree absolute
A decree nisi outlines why the divorce should take place and must be ‘pronounced’ by a judge for your divorce to go ahead. Once this is done, a decree absolute can be applied for which means the marriage has been formally ended. Our divorce solicitors offer a managed end-to-end divorce service that handles all correspondence with your ex-partner and their representation.
What Are Grounds for Divorce?
While the reason each marriage terminates is different, when applying for a divorce, to be successful you will need to outline a grounds for divorce. There are 5 grounds for divorce in total:
- Adultery is when your spouse has sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite gender
- Unreasonable behaviour is when your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
- Desertion is when your spouse has left you for a period of at least two years immediately preceding the divorce petition
- Two years’ separation with consent is when you and your spouse have lived separately for two continuous years immediately preceding the divorce petition and you or your spouse consent to the divorce
- Five years’ separation is when you and your spouse have lived separately for five continuous years immediately preceding the divorce petition. No consent from either party is required.
It’s important to note that civil partnerships and marriages that end because your spouse has sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex cannot use adultery as the grounds for divorce. This is because the laws of England and Wales define adultery as voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Such couples will normally cite unreasonable behaviour as their grounds for divorce.
Why Use a Solicitor for Divorce?
If you don’t have any children or joint financial arrangements with your partner, applying for a divorce yourself is the best option. If you do, however, it’s best to seek legal advice early. Our divorce solicitors would always recommend our divorce services if:
- you have children either together or from other marriages
- you have any joint property or finances
- you or your partner stands to inherit a significant amount
- you or your partner earn significantly more than the other
- all your assets are owned by one partner
- you or your partner have any business assets
- there is domestic abuse involved
How Long Does Divorce Take?
Every divorce is different, but typically divorce proceedings conclude in a minimum of 16 weeks from when the divorce petition is raised. Child arrangement and finance orders are dealt with separately and may or may not conclude at the same time as the divorce.
How Much Does Divorce Cost?
Our divorce solicitors charge £2,200 plus VAT for a managed uncontested divorce, which includes the £550 payment for the divorce petition. If you only need to respond to a divorce petition, our fees are £900 plus VAT. For contested divorces, please get in touch for a quote. The £550 divorce petition fee is payable to the family courts when raising a divorce petition. This is not applicable if responding to a divorce petition.