Katie Taft
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Date Published:24 Nov 2016 Last Updated:23 Oct 2021

Divorce – Frequently Asked Questions

Family Law

How much does a divorce cost?

The Court fee to start divorce proceedings is currently £550 (as at November 2016). In addition, should you choose to instruct a Solicitor to deal with the divorce process and you are the Petitioner (i.e. the person starting the divorce process) your legal fees are likely to be in the region of £400 – £600 plus VAT.

Who pays for the divorce?

The costs of the divorce proceedings can be met in one of three ways:

  1. The Petitioner pays the entirety of the costs;
  2. The Respondent pays the entirety of the costs;
  3. The Petitioner and Respondent agree to share the costs between them.

Our teams of experts can advise you on the most appropriate route depending on the circumstances of your divorce.

Can we divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences?

Unfortunately not. Unlike America, the English legal system will only allow two people to divorce on the basis of the following:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • 2 years separation (with consent)
  • 5 years separation (no consent required)

What should I do if I have received a Divorce Petition?

If you have received a Divorce Petition it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible given that you are required to return an Acknowledgment of Service form to the Court within 14 days of service. In this form you are asked to confirm whether or not you intend to defend the divorce.

What if I do not agree to the reasons given for the divorce?

You should seek legal advice straight away given that this can have an impact on other issues concerning your family e.g. children issues, restraining orders and finances.

How long does the divorce process take?

This very much depends on your local Court and the speed of their processing times. The process will likely take a minimum of 3-4 months and a maximum of 6-8 if your local Court is very busy.

Does the divorce deal with financial/ money issues?

No. The divorce process only deals with bringing your marriage to an end. It does not address issues surrounding finances and this needs to be dealt with separately. If you do not do so, your financial claims will remain open allowing your former husband or wife to make a claim against you in the future. It is therefore very important that you seek legal advice to ensure that this is dealt with properly.

Our team of expert Lawyers can assist you with all matters arising from divorce and separation. Should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact our family team on 01202 636 223 or by email to family@ellisjones.co.uk