Can I get a divorce?
As long as you have been married for at least 12 months, and your marriage has broken down irretrievably you will most likely be entitled to apply for a divorce.
Our qualified divorce solicitors will always discuss with you the reasons for the separation and whether the facts demonstrate irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
If you do not meet the requirements to pursue a divorce our expert solicitors will explore other options, such as annulment or judicial separation.
Can my spouse defend the divorce?
Yes - but they will only be successful in pursuing a defence if they can show to the court that the marriage has
not irretrievably broken down based on the fact you are relying on. From divorce statistics the vast majority of defended divorces are not successful and a divorce is usually granted.
Defending a divorce is generally not advised as it is usual that if one spouse feels the marriage has broken down irretrievably a divorce will be inevitable. It will therefore be more important to focus on children and financial matters that may arise.
If you are thinking of defending a divorce contact our expert solicitors first to ensure you are pursuing the best course of action.
Does my spouse need to agree to the divorce?
Not necessarily. The only facts that require you to obtain agreement with your spouse is adultery and two years separation. In the remaining facts, for example unreasonable behaviour or five years separation, you do not need your spouse to agree to this but you will need to show the court that your spouse is aware of the petition, or you have tried all possibly methods to make them aware of the divorce petition.
We will always discuss with you the best options to deal with your case to ensure it is dealt with swiftly and without delay.
How long will the divorce take?
An uncontested divorce usually takes between 6 to 9 months at a minimum, however it is always advisable to avoid obtaining the final divorce order until financial matters have been agreed and approved by the court which will likely lengthy the time to finalise the divorce.
Do I need to go to court to get a divorce?
Divorce is dealt with by the courts by considering the paperwork and applications. It is very rare that you will need to attend court as this is usually only if there are issues with agreeing who pays the costs of the divorce or if the divorce itself is defended by the respondent.
My spouse has started the divorce process - what do I need to do?
The court will issue the petition and send you a copy along with an Acknowledgement of Service form for you to complete and return.
The form is short, and appears straightforward, but if you are unsure of what you are signing and if you object to certain aspects of what is pursued in the petition - for example a costs order - then you should contact our expert divorce solicitors to obtain advice about filling in the form.
We married abroad, can we get a divorce in England?
As long as the ceremony followed the legal process in the country where you married you will be entitled to pursue a divorce in England as long as you meet the jurisdictional requirements of pursuing a divorce.
Our experienced divorce lawyers can assess and advise on whether your marriage is considered a "legal" marriage and if you can pursue a divorce in England.
I have a Nikkah/Islamic marriage - is this a legal marriage?
Under English law a specific legal process needs to be followed for a marriage to be considered legal.
A Nikkah or Islamic marriage entered into in England and Wales has no legal status under English law unless it is accompanied by a civil marriage either at a registry office or at an approved mosque. There are a handful of mosques that are authorised to register marriages, but the vast majority are not.
If your Islamic marriage is not accompanied by a civil registration, you will be considered cohabitees under English law and the rights you will have almost no rights, or extremely limited rights to claim financial relief in the event of a separation.
If you had a Nikkah or Islamic marriage abroad and the legal process was followed under that jurisdictions legal system (for example in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Pakistan), under English law the Nikkah or Islamic marriage will be considered legal.
If your Nikkah or Islamic marriage is not considered a legal marriage under English law you may have other options to pursue financial matters in the event of a separation, especially if you have children together.
If you are uncertain whether your Nikkah or Islamic marriage is considered a legal marriage you should call our expert divorce solicitors who can give you free advice about your circumstances and options.