Specialists in Divorce Law
‘The acid test in any professional service is “Would I use you again?” The answer is of course that I hope I never need to, but I would recommend you to anyone who did.’
We are divorce solicitors based in Harrogate who specialise in providing legal advice to clients undergoing separation and divorce.
Grounds for divorce
The basis for divorce in England and Wales is that a marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is proved by showing that one of the following five grounds for divorce is present:
- Your husband or wife has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with him or her.
- Your husband or wife has behaved in such a manner that you cannot be reasonably expected to live with him or her.
- You separated at least two years ago and you both agree to a divorce.
- Your husband or wife deserted you at least two years ago.
- You separated at least five years ago. No agreement is required in this case.
Therefore, unless you and your husband or wife have lived apart for at least two years, you will need to show some form of fault ‒ either adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
How do you file for divorce?
In most cases, getting a divorce is fairly easy using the 'quickie divorce' procedure and normally it is not necessary for either party or their solicitors to have to attend court. The procedure is as follows:
- Step 1 ‒ a Divorce Petition, original marriage certificate and court fee are sent to the court. If you have children, an extra document called a Statement of Arrangements for Children (which sets out the arrangements for the care of the children) must also be completed. These documents will then be sent by the court to your husband or wife together with another form called an Acknowledgment of Service.
- Step 2 – your husband or wife has to fill in the Acknowledgment of Service to confirm that they have received the documents and say whether they agree to a divorce.
- Step 3 – once he or she has returned the Acknowledgment of Service form to the court, you then have to swear a short statement confirming that the contents of your Divorce Petition are true. This is then sent to the court, with an application form for Decree Nisi (the provisional divorce decree).
- Step 4 – the judge will then decide whether you are entitled to a divorce and, if so, will fix a date for Decree Nisi. It is not necessary for you to attend that hearing.
- Step 5 – after a cooling-off period of at least six weeks and one day after the pronouncement of Decree Nisi, you can apply for Decree Absolute. However, if the financial arrangements have not been agreed by then, it is usual for the application for Decree Absolute not to be applied for until a financial settlement has been agreed.
How long does it take?
In principle, it can take four to five months to get to the end of the divorce. However, in reality, it often takes longer than this because the financial settlement also has to be resolved and this can take some time. Most cases are finished within ten to twelve months.
To arrange a FREE 30 minute interview with a divorce and family law solicitor, please click here or call on 01423 594 680. We are available seven days a week.