If you are about to go through a divorce, you will want to know what the process involves, how long it will take, and if there is anything that could cause a delay. In this article, we take you through each step, explaining the process in more detail so you can understand what to expect.
How to file for divorce
When you file for divorce, there are four main stages you must go through:-
1. Deciding the grounds for divorce
Firstly, you need to establish the grounds for divorce. This is the reason you wish to divorce, and can include: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for two years (and you both agree) or separation for five years. If you and your ex-partner are able to agree upon the grounds for divorce, the entire process will be a lot easier.
2. Sending a divorce petition
You must then send a divorce petition to the court. You will need to fill out the necessary forms, provide a copy of your marriage certificate and pay a fee. Once the court receives the paperwork, it will send a copy to your ex-partner who then has eight days to respond. If he/she chooses to defend their divorce (known as a contested divorce) you should seek legal advice. A family solicitor can take you through the options available to you. Mediation is a particularly useful tool of dispute resolution, and should be considered at this stage.
3. Applying for a decree nisi
However, if your ex-partner consents to the divorce, you can go on to apply for a decree nisi. To do this, you must fill out a number of forms and send them to the court. This paperwork will then be reviewed by a judge, who will either grant your divorce or deny your application. If the latter occurs, you will receive an explanation of why your divorce has been refused, and what action you should take next. This may involve providing more information, attending a court hearing or beginning the process again.
4. Getting a decree absolute
On the other hand, if the judge agrees, you can move onto the final stage – applying for a decree absolute. If you started the divorce, you must wait six weeks before sending in the form. If your ex-partner started the divorce, you are still able to apply for a decree absolute yourself, but you must wait a further three months to do so. If the court is happy with your application, it will send you and your ex-partner a decree absolute. Your divorce is then complete, meaning your marriage is officially over.
Ask a legal expert for help
The divorce process involves a large amount of paperwork and legal jargon. That is why many people ask a legal expert to assist with their divorce. If you would like help from a professional, contact us at Roskell Davies solicitors. We have a dedicated team of family solicitors who are ready to help in any way they can.
Complete a free online enquiry here.
Or call us today on: 0800 142 2901