How To Get A Divorce In The UK

Every year, many marriages end in divorce. The process can bring you both heartbreak and stress and will unfortunately have a significant impact for all concerned. When you make the decision to divorce, it is important to take steps where possible to keep things as amicable and productive as possible, aiming for a swift, clean break.

To facilitate the divorce process effectively, it’s essential to seek out knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can provide expert guidance and support. They will serve as a crucial resource, offering valuable insight on how to get a divorce in the UK. They can help navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings, offer clarity on legal requirements and options, and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.

The professionals here at Lloyd Platt & Co possess in-depth knowledge of divorce laws and regulations in the UK and can provide personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We will assist you in understanding your rights, exploring available alternatives, and making informed decisions that align with your goals and priorities.

We will also offer emotional support during what can be a challenging and emotionally taxing time. We will offer reassurance, and help you navigate the emotional complexities of divorce while remaining focused on achieving a favourable outcome.
Read our guide on how to get a divorce in the UK so that you are aware of the basics of what is involved in the divorce or dissolution process. Remember, we are here to help you every step of the way.

The first step

Provided you and your spouse, wife or husband, have been married for more than a year, and you can agree on four main things, the divorce process is quite simple in England and Wales. You need to agree:

  1. your marriage is over
  2. the legal reason that your marriage is over
  3. how you will split your property and possessions
  4. if you have children, how will you both continue to look after them in the best way possible

For a civil partnership the technical term is dissolution, but the general rules are similar. If you have been in a civil partnership or married for less than one year, in readiness for when the year is up, you can arrange a separation agreement instead to help decide on the split property and possessions.

From 6 April 2022, the divorce process in England and Wales underwent modifications as per the Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation Act 2020. Read more on What are the Legal Reasons for Divorce in our News section.

how to get a divorce in the uk

What’s next

Once you are in full agreement that your marriage or civil partnership has failed because it has ‘irretrievably broken down’. Hopefully, you will have been able to agree on the rest of the points above, but if not remember we are here to help.

To apply for a divorce, you will need to provide the complete names and addresses for both you and your spouse (or civil partner). Include either the original marriage certificate or a certified copy of it (a certified translation is required if it’s not in English). Additionally, submit evidence of any name changes that have occurred since the marriage.

If your marriage certificate is missing, you have two options: you can either request a duplicate copy for a fee, or if you were married outside the jurisdiction and cannot find a copy, you must file a separate application to the Court using Form D11, which incurs an additional court fee. If you’re unsure about the process, seeking advice is recommended.

Once you have all of this in order, you can then apply for a divorce. You can this online or with a divorce (or dissolution) application form D8. If you apply using the D8 form, you should send one copy to the courts plus keep a copy for your records.

This incurs an application fee of £593, payable based on the method of application. Support from the Government may be accessible for individuals with low income or those receiving benefits. Following your application, a copy of the divorce application will be forwarded to your spouse.

Your application will then be checked by the court and, if all is correct, you will be sent:

  • notice that your application has been issued
  • copy of your divorce application stamped by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
  • case number

What happens next depends on whether you made a joint divorce application where you and your spouse applied together, or a sole application if you applied on your own.

With a joint application, you will be provided with an ‘acknowledge receipt’.

For a sole application, your spouse will be sent the divorce application along with an ‘acknowledgement of service’ notification. The acknowledgement of service notification is where your spouse will either agree with or dispute the divorce. This must be completed and returned within fourteen days.

how to get a divorce in the uk

Final steps

Whether you made a joint application or a sole application, once your spouse respond to a divorce by agreement, you need to wait twenty weeks before continuing with the divorce, by applying for a conditional order.

If you initiate a sole application and your spouse chooses to contest the divorce, they must submit an “answer form” outlining a valid legal rationale for their objection. This could lead to both parties attending a court hearing for further discussion. However, be assured that we will be available to assist you throughout this procedure.

In the event that your spouse fails to respond by submitting the answer form, you can apply for a conditional order after twenty weeks. When it has been granted, to conclude the divorce process, you must wait an additional six weeks and one day before you apply for a final order.

Once the final order has been received, your marriage or civil partnership will officially be over. Please be aware that you remain in a civil partnership or legal marriage until you receive the final order. During this period, refrain from entering into another civil partnership or marrying again until after the final order is issued.

When to contact our Divorce Lawyers in London

Everyone hopes that their divorce is a simple step by step process as detailed above. But we know that sadly this is not always the case. As an expert Family Law firm and Accredited Mediators, our solicitors will identify the most efficient strategy to make the divorce process as smooth as possible.

Situated in London, our firm is dedicated to providing compassionate assistance to each of our clients. We specialise in a variety of legal matters, such as divorce, separation, financial disputes and settlements, child arrangements, adoption, surrogacy, cohabitation, harassment and domestic abuse, as well as international family law affairs.

Our expert divorce solicitors are here to help guide you through your divorce by answering all your questions relating to how to get a divorce in the UK. We can also help with the other areas relating to the divorce process including childcare arrangements and financial settlements. We will also advise whether your case is appropriate for mediation, where you can receive guidance from our trained mediators and a collaborative lawyer.

Read more about our Divorce Lawyers in London.

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

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