Stages of Divorce

To gain a divorce in England and Wales, couples have to follow a proscribed divorce process or procedure.  Before starting on the legal process, you will probably discuss your circumstances with a family Solicitor.  More details on the early phases of how to divorce are available here.  From those early discussions, you will then need to follow the stages of divorce outlined below. This page gives a brief summary of each stage of the divorce process.  You can read more by clicking the heading of each section.

To file for a divorce you need to complete the appropriate divorce petition and statement of arrangements and send these to the Court together with the current Court fee of £340 and your marriage certificate. You may need the help of a Solicitor to complete the forms as the Court is not able to assist in ensuring that the forms are correctly filled in.

The Court will ensure that a copy of the divorce papers is sent to the Respondent. You must therefore ensure that you give the Court the correct address. If he/she has already consulted a Solicitor then the papers will go to his/her legal representative. If you do not know where the Respondent is, then this means a separate application to the Court to deal with this particular point.

If the Respondent does not acknowledge receipt of the papers then he may need to be served personally, by either a privately instructed process server or the Court Bailiff. The cost papersof each is approximately £100 and the Respondent would generally be responsible for the costs incurred if it is because he/she has failed to complete the acknowledgement of service. 

Again, there are particular forms to complete and you will need the advice of a Solicitor to ensure that the application is made correctly.

Decree Nisi is a stage in the divorce process. Six weeks and a day from the Decree Nisi date you may apply for the Decree Absolute. If the financial agreements have not been agreed this will normally fail to happen. Any time after Decree Nisi, parties can file a Consent Order with the Court dealing with the financial arrangements.

This concludes the divorce process and also, generally assumes, that the financial arrangements have also been concluded. If there is no financial agreement then you should not apply for Decree Absolute as this may affect your entitlement to certain assets of the marriage. You will need to seek legal advice about this.

For more information, and practical divorce and separation advice, from Cotswold Family Law, please return to the Divorce Section of the site.

If you wish to discuss your individual circumstances, please contact us to book a consultation.


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