The Divorce Process

In all cases, divorce proceedings cannot commence until you have been married for a minimum of one complete year.

The person who applies for a divorce is known as the Petitioner and the spouse that they wish to divorce is known as the Respondent.

Where possible it is always favourable for both parties to deal with divorce in as amicable a way as is possible. We appreciate that this is not always possible but where people can maintain an open dialogue, many fundamental issues can be agreed prior to the commencement of proceedings.

From the details you provide, we will complete a divorce petition on your behalf and forward it to you for approval. Once approved, your solicitor will send the petition to the court along with your original marriage certificate (or a certified copy) and the current court fees.

Remember, we cannot proceed without a marriage certificate. March Solicitors can obtain a copy on your behalf but this will incur an additional fee (currently £26).

The court will check the petition and forward a copy to your spouse. They are requested to read and complete the form to indicate whether they wish to contest the divorce. In the vast majority of cases divorce petitions are uncontested.

March Solicitors will then ask you to provide a bit more information to enable them to prepare a sworn statement for you to sign. This document supports your divorce petition. It also forms your application for a Decree Nisi – a provisional order showing that the court is satisfied that the grounds for divorce have been established.

Prior to Decree Nisi, the court must satisfy itself that you and your partner meet all the criteria to be granted a divorce.

At this stage the court will also decide who is responsible for paying for the divorce, if this has not already been agreed.

Once satisfied, the court usually issues a Decree Nisi within a few weeks.

An application for the Decree to be made ‘Absolute’ – the final court order bringing the marriage to an end – can be made six weeks and one day after the Decree Nisi is granted. If there are any financial matters that are still to be agreed with your spouse, it is often better to delay this application until all matters have been finalised.

If your case is straightforward and all financial matters have been agreed prior to the original divorce petition, then most Decree Absolute’s are granted within 5 months from the commencement of proceedings.

If you’re confused about any legal jargon or legal instruction, see our ‘Glossary of Divorce and Family Law Terms’ in our ‘Store Cupboard’. And for a practical guide, see Life After Divorce.

This is an online service for really straightforward divorces.
This is the simplest and most cost effective way to end your marriage or civil partnership where both of you agree. It provides the personal reassurance and support of a solicitor.
Four fixed price stages to help you reach a financial agreement for your life and future.