Guiding and supporting you through your divorce
Whether you have decided that your marriage is over or are unsure as to your future, it is often helpful to know all the facts before making any decisions.
Relationship breakdowns are often a time of emotional hardship and we will guide and support you through the process to make it as stress free as possible.
How can divorce be initiated?
A divorce can only be started after you have been married for one year and there is only one ground for divorce, you must show the court that your marriage has “irretrievably broken down”. To prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage you can rely on one of five facts:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Two years separation where both of you agree to the divorce
- Five years separation
Where and when to start divorce proceedings
What is a divorce petition?
When you start divorce proceedings you tell the court the basis upon which you are applying for a divorce in a document called a “petition”. A divorce petition will also set out basic details about your marriage. The petition for divorce must be accompanied by your original marriage certificate and the court fee. The person who starts the divorce proceedings is called the Petitioner and the other person the Respondent.
Upon receiving the petition the Respondent is asked to complete an Acknowledgment of Service to confirm if he/she agrees to the divorce proceeding or whether they intend to defend the divorce. If the Respondent does not defend the divorce, the Petitioner can apply for Decree Nisi, the first decree of divorce. After six weeks have passed from the date of Decree Nisi, the Petitioner can apply for Decree Absolute. Once Decree Absolute is obtained the parties will be divorced.
If the Petitioner fails to apply for Decree Absolute, the Respondent may apply after a further three months.
Who is to blame?
Although divorce procedure can appear to be fault-based, as one person must apply for the divorce and the other respond, the courts are keen to promote an amicable divorce whenever possible. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, it is wise to draft a petition for divorce in a way that will minimise the potential areas of dispute between you. We can help you agree the contents of the petition with your spouse before the petition is sent to Court, in order to minimise the animosity between you both.
Can a divorce application be refused?
It is rare for divorce petitions to be defended, but as family law specialists we can advise you as to the appropriate steps to take should your spouse defend the divorce.
Where do I issue divorce?
Increasingly individuals live abroad, work abroad or marry a partner from abroad and therefore are unsure as to where they should commence divorce proceedings.
If you or your partner have a connection to more than one country and you are considering divorce, or you are planning to enter into a prenuptial agreement you should contact us at Rayden Solicitors, the largest family law specialists and expat divorce solicitors in Hertfordshire.
How much will my divorce cost?
Divorce costs vary from case to case simply because cases can differ in complexity. From your very first meeting with us, we will talk to you about your individual situation and can read through our clear pricing policy. We can assure you that there will be no surprises.
How long will it take to divorce?
The media often talk about “quickie” divorces amongst celebrities. The truth is that divorce proceedings require diligent and meticulous work from your team at Rayden Solicitors in order to achieve the best possible outcome for you − so it can take many months.
The length of a divorce very much depends on the issues in dispute, but you can be assured that however long the process may be, we at Rayden Solicitors will be available to answer all of your questions and make the process as stress free as possible.
Rayden Solicitors is also committed to equality and diversity and in doing so supports and advises all members of our community.