The Divorce Process – Frequently Asked Questions

Sally Clark Blog

The divorce process can be upsetting and confusing. At Barnes Clark Family Law, our solicitors, specialise in dealing only with family legal issues arising from the breakdown of your relationship. We offer up-to-date legal expertise and a Divorce & Separation service you can both trust and rely on.

How do I get divorced in England & Wales?

You need to show that you have been married for at least 1 year and that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. To prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, you must rely on one of the following reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • 2 Years Separation with Consent
  • 5 Years Separation
  • Desertion

We can advise which ground is most suitable to your circumstances.

What is the Divorce Process?

The first stage is to prepare the documents. The “petition” outlines the grounds on which your divorce is based. Once the Petition has been issued, copies of the documents will be sent to your spouse. They are then required to complete an Acknowledgement of Service Form, confirming whether they intend to defend the divorce. If they do not defend it, you can apply for Decree Nisi and then later down the line, Decree Absolute.

What if my spouse does not agree to Divorce?

Unfortunately, if your spouse does not agree to divorce, matters become more complicated. We can provide you with specific advice, if that is the case.

Is there a fee to get divorced?

There is a court fee of £550, which is required to be paid upon issuing the petition. There is a possibility that you can claim costs of the divorce from your spouse and we can advise you in respect of that. We will also advise you at the outset of our likely costs in relation to the divorce proceedings.

What is a Decree Nisi?

Decree Nisi is the mid-way point of the divorce proceedings. It is also the point at which the Court can consider making an order to resolve financial matters.

What is Decree Absolute?

6 weeks and 1 day after the Decree Nisi has been pronounced the person issuing the divorce can apply for Decree Absolute, at this point the marriage is dissolved. The Respondent can make the application 4 ½ months after Decree Nisi, if the Petitioner does not make the application themselves.

For further information, or to arrange an appointment please contact us on 01274 861096 (Liversedge) or 01423 637272 (Harrogate) or email Please note that we offer a free half an hour consultation.