The Current Process of Divorce

All divorces in England and Wales follow the same basic process to dissolve the marriage. For clarity, this process purely deals with the marriage itself, rather than any aligned process or steps that need to be taken alongside this core process, for example in dealing with financial matters or matters relating to children of the marriage

Key Stages in the Divorce Process

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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce


How long does it take to get a divorce?

An uncontested divorce, i.e. one where both parties are agreeable to the process and act at each stage in a timely manner, a divorce could take as little as four to six months. However, in more challenging circumstances, where matters relating to finances, dividing assets or making agreeable arrangements for any children of the marriage are in dispute, this can delay the divorce process, usually by choice as some arrangements are best agreed before the divorce absolute is finalised.

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

The court fees relating to your divorce are as follows:

  • £550 to file for your divorce or dissolution

  • £365 to file for judicial separation (this is used most commonly when a divorce is not preferable, for example for religious reasons.)

  • £100 to file a consent order agreeing financial and children matters between the divorcing spouses

  • £255 to file a financial order (this is sought when financial matters are not agreed and the court is positioned to examine the evidence and make a decision regarding a division of the assets.)

The petitioner pays the court fees in the first instance for each application but he or she can choose for these costs to be ultimately paid by the respondent. Further, each party will normally be responsible for the costs of their own legal fees unless there are good reasons for the court to decide otherwise, in which case an order for costs will be made at the end of the process. Your solicitor will be able to give you an estimate as to your anticipated legal costs after an initial consultation.

Can I apply for a Divorce myself?

Yes you can. Any person can apply for a divorce using the court forms that are freely available online. If you decide to go down the road of self-representation, we would still encourage an initial discussion with a qualified solicitor. Professional advice at an early stage can help identify any issues that may impact the divorce or need additional care and consideration before making your application. Where matters are contentious between spouses, it is especially important to understand the implications of divorce and the remedies available to you. Even in the most amicable of circumstances, a poorly completed application could at best delay matters, at worst, not provide a fair or desired outcome for one or both parties.

If you’re considering managing you divorce yourself, but would like to speak to us about our Review Service where we can provide assistance and guidance to your independent process, please get in touch.

Not everything we own is in joint names - how will this affect our divorce?

It is very common for some assets to be in the name of a single spouse, rather than both. What needs to be determined in this case is whether this is an asset of the marriage. For example, a bank account in the name of a single spouse containing cash that was generated during the course of the marriage may indeed be an asset of the marriage and part of the communal ‘pot’ for division. A trust fund of which one spouse is a beneficiary and inherited prior to marriage, may be viewed differently if the basic needs of the couple can be satisfied using other assets. It is worth seeking the advice of your solicitor to help determine how specific assets may be viewed in the greater context of the ‘marital pot’ and in light of the needs basis the court will first seek to satisfy.

Click HERE for more information about Financial Matters