A Divorce can seem like a complicated puzzle to tackle, it’s all too easy to be confused by the “old school” wording and procedure. Jarmans Solicitors always ensure that our clients know what to expect and understand every step of the divorce process, so our family law team have answered some frequently asked questions.
What do all the legal terms in a Divorce mean?
A Petitioner is a person who is applying for a divorce.
The Respondent is the person who is being divorced.
A Decree Nisi is an order by a court stating a date when a marriage can legally end. AKA “The middle stage”
The Decree Absolute is the conclusion of your divorce. After this point you are no longer married and free to marry someone else should you desire.
When can you get divorced?
In order to file a divorce petition in the England and Wales, you must have been married for at least one year.
What are grounds for divorce?
In order to get divorced in the England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce: you have to be able to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is done by establishing one of five facts.
- Your husband/wife has committed adultery and living with them would be intolerable
- Your spouse has behaved unreasonably and you can no longer live with them
- Your husband/wife has deserted you for a continuous period over at least two years.
- You have both continuously lived apart for two years and you both agree to a divorce.
- You have continuously lived apart for more than five years, even if your spouse doesn’t agree to a divorce.
How do I start divorce proceedings?
In order to commence divorce proceedings, you need to file a divorce petition at court. You also need to include evidence of your grounds for divorce, a statement of reconciliation (only applicable if prepared by Solicitors), your original marriage certificate, and a fee of £550.00.
What happens next?
The court will then send a copy of the divorce papers to your husband/wife. They need to complete an acknowledgement of service form and return it to the court. Once returned you’ll be sent the form, by the court.
Once this has happened, you will then be asked to prepare and sign a statement, which requests a decree of divorce. The court then considers all of the papers and, if appropriate fixes a time and date for your Decree Nisi.
If it’s in a court will everything be public?
You only normally have to attend court if your spouse contests the divorce proceedings or if you are unable to agree on child arrangements or your financial settlement. Family court proceedings are usually held in private, however your final divorce will be held on public record.
We offer a free, 15-minute, pre-bookable phone call with one of our experienced family law team. Alternatively, we offer a fixed £99 fee inc VAT for a 45-minute meeting with one of our highly experienced family team. If you would like some confidential advice about a family legal issue, contact us today to book a meeting. Call 01795 742291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Will I need a new Will now I am divorced?
Once you have received your Decree Absolute, if your (Ex) spouse appears anywhere within your Will, the result of the divorce will affect the Will as though your (Ex) spouse has died.
We recommend that you think about making a new Will as soon as your relationship has broken down. If you do not have a Will in place at all, your Spouse may be entitled to inherit from your estate all the time you are still married.
Your Will should include information on who you would like to be your children’s guardians in the event of your death and chosen executors and trustees for your estate.