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The Divorce Process

A divorce will end your marriage contract which essentially is set out in your marriage certificate. The Judge must agree the marriage is at an end and has "irretrievably broken down". This is evidenced in one of five ways:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour (there is no definition of this so it is wide and varying)
  • Two years (or more) Desertion
  • Two years separation by agreement –both parties agree to the divorce
  • Five years separation if there is no agreement

How Do I start the Divorce?

We will complete with you the Divorce Petition which sets out the grounds of the divorce to the Court. You are known as the Petitioner. If you have children there is another form to complete the "Statement of arrangements for Children". These and your original marriage certificate will be lodged at court along with the Court fee then the Court will send these to your spouse. Your spouse then has to acknowledge the Petition and your spouse will be known as the Respondent. If your spouse agrees to the divorce the next stage is simple.

Sometimes a spouse does not reply so we have to arrange for them to be served by a process server. If they do not agree we will discuss the options available to you if that situation arises.

Decree Nisi-The Interim certificate

This is the stage at which the Judge will review the papers filed at court and if the Judge is satisfied the marriage has broken down the Decree Nisi will be granted. The Judge will also satisfy himself with the arrangements for the children as set out in the ‘Statement of arrangements for Children’ form lodged with the divorce petition. If the Judge is not satisfied a brief attendance at Court may be necessary. The Decree Nisi also the first stage at which the Judge can approve any financial agreement reached between the parties.

Decree Absolute

Six weeks and a date later the decree absolute can be applied for to finalise the divorce. You will no longer be married. If you are the Respondent in a divorce you will have to wait longer before you can apply.

Warning: Do ensure financial matters are resolved between you and spouse before a Decree Absolute is applied for to prevent your ex-spouse from making a claim against you in the future. For example if you inherit or win the lottery your ex-spouse could claim on this if you have no financial agreement in place.

Vintry House, 18-24 Piccadilly, Bradford
Tel: 01274 724114 Fax: 01274 724161

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Regulation Authority: REGIS 613817

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