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Divorce Law

You & Your Divorce

Perhaps you’ve reached the end of an unhappy relationship and divorce seems the only option, or perhaps you’ve received a divorce petition. Or you may be looking for financial support and arrangements for children. Either way Eatons can help.

Download Our Guide

Read our family law information pack put together by Eatons Solicitors, lawyers in Bradford, Bingley and Yeadon.

Some of our FAQ's

Click below to see some of our FAQs, providing the answers to help you understand our services better. Still can't find what you're looking for? Please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly.

How do I start divorce proceedings?

To apply for a divorce, you will first need to check you are eligible. This will mean:

  • You have been married for over a year.
  • Your relationship has permanently broken down.
  • Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK.

You will then need to complete a divorce application, either as a sole applicant or a joint applicant along with your spouse. This begins by filling out a Form D8.

How long does it take to get divorced?

Getting a divorce is not a quick process. In England and Wales, a divorce generally takes between six and eight months to be finalised, but can last up to a year or more. There are two key waiting periods:

  • A 20-week cooling-off period after the court has issued the application, before the conditional order can be granted.
  • A six-week waiting period after the conditional order has been granted, when you can apply to the court for a final order.

Factors such as court delays, financial disputes and lack of cooperation from one or both spouses (see below) can all impact the length of the process.

What do I need to prove to get a divorce?

  • Yours and your husband or wife's full name and address.
  • Your original marriage certificate or a certified copy of it.
  • Proof of any name change, if you have changed it since you got married.
  • You must be able to show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.

What happens if my spouse refuses to get divorced?

In short, your spouse cannot refuse to get divorced, but they can make it very difficult, time-consuming and costly by refusing to cooperate. If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, there are several options:

  • Personally serve the court papers to your spouse - This will involve an additional fee and be done through a Court Bailiff or Process Server, but will serve as proof your spouse has received the papers and will allow you to progress with the divorce
  • Deemed Service - This is where you provide proof of your spouse having received the papers (such as through a text or email) and a Judge decides whether to progress based on this evidence.
  • Dispensed Service - If you have tried all of the above and exhausted every attempt at progressing to the next stage, the Court can rule that proceedings do not need to be served if you can show you have done all you can to locate and serve your spouse.

Do I have to use a solicitor to get divorced?

You do not need a solicitor to get a divorce. However, it is highly recommended that you seek advice before applying for divorce proceedings. Particularly where financial matters and child arrangements are involved, speaking to an expert in family law can ensure you follow the correct course of action.

How much does a divorce cost?

As everyone's situation is different, the cost of each divorce will vary. Every divorce is subject to a standard court fee of £593 to process the application. The cost tends to be lower in an uncontested divorce, when a solicitor is acting, and could be less than £1,000, plus court fees - this will simply involve preparing the paperwork and progressing the proceedings, but this will vary based on the experience of the solicitor.

In cases where financial and/or child arrangements need to be resolved, costs are likely to be higher, particularly where additional court proceedings are required.

There is no standard fee, so it is important to consult a family law specialist before proceeding.

Do we have to agree a financial settlement before we can divorce?

You can agree to a financial settlement either before or after your divorce has been finalised. However, a consent order cannot be made legally binding until a conditional divorce order has been granted.

Ideally, the terms of the financial settlement should occur at the same time as any divorce proceedings.

In addition, agreeing a financial settlement before you or your spouse marry, remarry or enter a partnership can have implications on any claims you make, so it is important to take this into account.

Who gets the house in a divorce?

The allocation of assets will depend entirely on the circumstances of each case. The nature of your marriage, living arrangements, whether you have children, previous ownership of properties and several other factors will all be taken into account.

There is no standard process of allocating the family home(s) - it is best to speak to a family law expert to assess your options and the likely course of action.

How can I avoid the divorce being difficult and painful for my family?

The best way to minimise any difficulty, pain, and sadness in a divorce is for both parties to cooperate fully. This can not only help to speed up the process by reducing delays and disputes, but can also ensure that the wellbeing of any children is prioritised.

Where financial matters are involved, having an idea about the division of any assets and financial compensation before you enter into divorce proceedings can also help to minimise disruption further along the process.

A divorce is a complicated process that can take a physical and emotional toll on you and your family.

For advice and support to ensure that you are following the best course of action, get in touch with our team of divorce solicitors via email or our contact form, or call one of our offices to speak in confidentiality with a trusted adviser.

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