Stages of Divorce

To obtain a divorce in England and Wales, married couples have to follow a prescribed divorce process or procedure. Before starting the legal process, you should discuss your circumstances with a family solicitor. If you decide to divorce, you will follow the stages of divorce outlined below.

Filing for Divorce

To file for a divorce you need to complete the appropriate divorce petition. This is sent to the Court together with the current Court fee (£550) and your marriage certificate. We recommend you ask a solicitor to help you complete the forms. The Court staff generally do not give advice on how to fill in these forms correctly.

Serving Divorce Papers

The Court will send a copy of the divorce papers to the Respondent by way of service. In a situation where the Respondent does not acknowledge receipt of the papers then they may need to be served personally. If you do not know where the Respondent is, then this means a separate application to the Court.

Applying for Decree Nisi

After service of the divorce papers, further forms are required to then apply for the Decree Nisi, which is generally the halfway stage of the divorce process.

Decree Nisi

Once the Court are satisfied that you are entitled to a divorce, your Decree Nisi will be pronounced. At any time after the Decree Nisi is pronounced the parties can file a consent order with the Court that deals with the financial arrangements they have agreed.

Decree Absolute

This concludes the divorce process. If you have not reached a financial agreement then generally it is advisable not to apply for the Decree Absolute. If you do, it may affect your entitlement to certain assets of the marriage. We can advise you about this.

Whatever your situation, Cotswold Family Law can offer you expert and practical advice. You can also contact us to make an appointment with us for personal advice.