Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to be married before I can petition for divorce?
You cannot start a petition for divorce unless you have been married for more than one year.

How long does the divorce process take?
Using our SRV 4 The process usually takes between 14 TO 16 weeks to complete (The National Average is 33weeks) from the time the Petition is filed with the Court

How much will a divorce cost?
Divorce Services Ltd divorce packs are designed to  suit  all budgets and requirements. SERVICES

In addition you will probably have to pay court fees to initiate the petition. Currently this fee is £550. 

What if I canít afford the court fees?
Your financial situation may mean that you do not have to pay these fees. Ask us for a free assessment or staff at your local County Court will be able to provide a booklet and an application for court fee exemption.

Do I need a Solicitor?
No. A Solicitor is not generally necessary to instigate or conduct your divorce. You may find it helpful however to discuss the basis for your petition with one of our highly experienced & legally qualified staff before starting the process. Ring 01736 757948 for a free initial consultation

You should however seek legal advice if you anticipate your spouse may not agree and defend the petition, you are in dispute regarding financial matters, or there are complications regarding the children of the family.

Will I have to go to court?
No court appearances are necessary in divorce proceedings.

What grounds can I use?
Irretrievable breakdown is the only Ďgroundí for divorce. However, the irretrievable breakdown will need to be proved by basing your petition on one of five causes.
Adultery
Unreasonable behaviour
Desertion
2 years separation with consent
5 year separation

Further information regarding these causes can be found in our Divorce in England & Wales information page

Can my petition be based on my own unreasonable behaviour or adultery?
No. If you have committed adultery or your own behaviour has been unreasonable your spouse will have to petition for divorce.

What if my spouse doesnít consent to a divorce on 2 year separation?
If your spouse does not agree to divorce on the basis of 2 year separation with consent, you may be able to rely on the basis of unreasonable behaviour or 5 year separation. Consent of your spouse is not required.

What if I donít know my spouseís current address?
If you do not have a current address for your spouse every effort should be made via friends or family members to trace them. Alternatively you may need to engage the services of a tracing agent. Divorce Services can assist you with this, please contact us on 01736 757948 for more information.  
 
What is an Acknowledgment of Service?
The Acknowledgement of Service is the document forwarded to the Respondent by the County Court when the Petition is served or issued.

The Respondent is given a period of 14 days to complete, sign and return the document to the Court. The Acknowledgement of Service will advise the court whether the Respondent consents to the divorce decree being granted.

What if my spouse doesnít return the Acknowledgment of Service to the court?
If the Acknowledgement of Service is not returned to the court, you will need to either request the Court Bailiff to serve the respondent personally with the divorce documents, or instruct a Process Server. Divorce Services can assist you with this, please contact us for  more information.  

Will I need my marriage certificate?
Yes. You will need to send your original marriage certificate to the court with your Petition at the first stage of the process.The Court will retain the Certificate for Court Records. If you do not have the certificate, we can obtain a copy for you,  details on 01736 757948

What if I havenít got the original marriage certificate?
If you have not got the original marriage certificate, you will need to obtain a certified copy. The court will not under any circumstances accept photocopies.
If you do not have your marriage certificate Divorce Services offer a Certificate Search Service. Simply complete the download questionnaire and we do the rest. See our services page for further information

Can we get divorced in England if we were married abroad?
Yes

What if my marriage certificate if in a foreign language?
If your marriage certificate is in a foreign language, you will need to obtain a translation to send to the court with the original certificate. This is something we can assist you with. Please ring for details 01736 757948

What if I now live abroad?
If you are living abroad, you can still obtain a divorce in England and Wales providing your spouse is habitually resident here.
 
What if my spouse now lives abroad?
If your spouse is living abroad, you can still obtain a divorce here providing you are habitually resident and have been for at least 1 year.

PLEASE NOTE the rules of jurisdiction are complicated, we would suggest you  contact us. We have a legally qualified expert in this field,  if you have any doubts regarding jurisdiction.

How do I find my local County Court?
Our divorce packs all include a complete list of County Courts for you to decide your nearest.

Do we need to agree a financial settlement before starting the divorce process?
No. It is however a good idea to do so. If you cannot agree the division of assets, mediation maybe the way forward for you.
Further information regarding mediation can be found in our Mediation information page