What Is A Contested Divorce

A contested divorce is a type of divorce proceeding in which the parties involved cannot come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. Contested divorces in the United Kingdom are rare. Statistics demonstrate that less than 1% of any divorcing couple defend or contest the Divorce Petition.

Defending or contesting the divorce is an expensive, time consuming and emotional exercise, and can often not achieve the results that were intended.

The Courts’ view

Given that from 6 April 2022 the Government has amended the divorce laws to sweep away the whole issue of a fault based divorce, so that one party only need give notice for divorce proceedings to be activated, the views of most Courts are that defended petitions should be avoided at all costs. All that one party has to prove is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and the UK has jurisdiction to deal with the divorce.

When to contest a divorce

To begin the divorce process, one party will typically file a divorce petition with the court which is done through making a petition on the online portal. The other party will then have an opportunity to respond by filing an acknowledgment of service. If the parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, the case will move forward as a contested divorce.

If you wish to contest a divorce you must do so within 14 days of receiving the acknowledgement of service that is filed with the Petition and served on you, state whether you intend to defend or not and your reasons. There are only exceptional grounds for defending a divorce these being

  1. Jurisdiction – if you or your partner live in another country, the courts in England and Wales may not be able to handle your application.
  2. If you can prove that the marriage or civil partnership was never valid. For example, if the marriage/civil partnership was not conducted in accordance with the laws of the country in which you married, meaning you did not enter into a legally legitimate
  3. If the marriage/civil partnership has already legally ended. For example, if you’ve already gone through divorce proceedings in another country.

In some cases, mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution may help parties agree. However, if these efforts are unsuccessful, the case will likely go to court. This can be a difficult process, but with the help of the professionals here at Lloyd Platt & Co, we can help guide you through every step of the process and provide the necessary legal support.

contested divorce

How we can help…

Our expert family law solicitors are here to help guide you through your divorce and all the elements that go with that, including childcare arrangements and financial settlements. We will also advise whether your case is appropriate for mediation, where you can receive guidance and/or a collaborative lawyer.

Read more about our Divorce Lawyers in London.

Get in touch today. To make an enquiry please fill in our form, call us on 0208 343 2998 or click to contact our divorce lawyers.

Got a Legal Problem?

Table of Contents

Follow Us

Recent Posts

Pension Sharing
Financial Settlement on Divorce

Pension Sharing

A guide to understanding the basics of pension sharing by Vanessa Lloyd Platt, Lloyd Platt & Co Divorce or separation can be

How to deal with Parental Alienation
Children and Parenting Issues

How to deal with parental alienation

By Vanessa Lloyd Platt, Lloyd Platt & Co Increasingly, in matrimonial cases, we are finding that there are allegations of alienating behaviour.

Vannessa's Tips on YouTube

Make an Initial Enquiry

Make an Initial Enquiry
Scroll to Top