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How do I start divorce/dissolution proceedings?

Want to start divorce/dissolution proceedings? Graysons’ team answer some frequently asked questions about divorce.

Last updated on January 15th, 2024 at 04:44 pm

Latest posts by Bradie Pell (see all)

    How do I start divorce proceedings?

    Deciding to end a marriage or civil partnership is a serious and challenging decision that can lead to a stressful and emotional period in one’s life. However, the process of getting a divorce or dissolving a civil partnership does not have to be complicated. You can make the process smoother by seeking help from an expert and professional divorce or dissolution solicitor. A qualified lawyer can guide you through the process, answer your questions, and ensure that all the paperwork is accurately completed. If you are considering getting a divorce or dissolving a civil partnership but are unsure where to begin, continue reading. We will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce and dissolution in England and Wales.

    How long does a divorce/dissolution take in the UK?

    The minimum duration required for a divorce or dissolution to be granted is 26 weeks. However, the process can take longer if the parties involved fail to reach an agreement regarding their finances or the custody of their children. Hiring an experienced divorce or dissolution lawyer can assist in ensuring that the process runs smoothly and efficiently.

    What documents do I need to get a divorce? 

    To start the divorce/dissolution process, you will need your original marriage/civil partnership certificate or a certified copy, as well as your ex-partner’s full name and address. If your marriage/civil partnership certificate is in another language, you will need to include a certified translation. If you have changed your name since you got married, then you will also need to provide proof of your name change. 

    What grounds for divorce are there in England and Wales?

    One or both of you can apply for a divorce/dissolution if your marriage/civil partnership has broken down irretrievably.

    To start the divorce/dissolution process in England and Wales, you must have been married/in a civil partnership for more than a year and be able to demonstrate that this is your permanent home, or your ex-partner’s permanent home. Your marriage /civil partnership must also be legally recognised in our jurisdiction. An experienced divorce/dissolution solicitor will be able to advise you. 

    Can I get divorced if I am in a civil partnership? 

    No, you cannot get a divorce if you are in a civil partnership. If you wish to end a civil partnership, then you will need to apply for a dissolution. As with a divorce, you will need to state that your relationship has broken down irretrievably. If you need advice about ending a civil partnership, then contact Graysons’ team.

    Can I get an annulment instead of filing for divorce/dissolution? 

    Yes, you can get an annulment instead of a divorce /dissolution in  England and Wales. However, in order to get an annulment, you will need to prove that the marriage was not legally valid. Grounds for an annulment include: 

    • Your spouse/civil partner was previously married/in a civil partnership
    • Either person was under 16-years-of-age when they got married/entered into a civil partnership
    • The marriage civil/partnership has not been consummated (opposite sex couple)  
    • Consent for the marriage/civil partnership was not properly given
    • The marriage/civil partnership was agreed under false pretences
    • Either spouse/civil partner lacked mental capacity to agree to the marriage/civil partnership

    A specialist divorce lawyer will be able to advise you whether you should seek an annulment or a divorce/dissolution. 

    Can my partner refuse to grant me a divorce/dissolution?

    No, your partner cannot dispute your application for a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership.

    Will I have to go to court to get a divorce/dissolution? 

    It is unlikely that you will have to go to court to get a divorce/dissolution.  Court attendance may be necessary if parties cannot agree on who should pay legal costs, or agree on other financial matters, or arrangements for children. It is important to remember that going to court is seen as a last resort, and an experienced divorce/dissolution lawyer will only proceed to this stage when all other possible avenues to reach an agreement have been exhausted. 

    How can Grayson help? 

    We can give you expert advice at every stage of the divorce/dissolution process. They will be able to answer any questions you have and discuss all your options, ensure all paperwork is completed accurately, help you understand your rights as well as the rights of your ex-partner, all while working with you to ensure the very best outcome. If you wish to apply for a divorce/dissolution, then contact our team of divorce lawyers today

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