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The Blacks guide to Divorce and Relationship Breakdown

Posted By: Ann Robinson


Whatever the reason for the breakdown of a relationship, we understand that separating can be a very stressful and unsettling time for you and your family. At Blacks we appreciate that each relationship is different and that the solution following the breakdown of a relationship should be tailored to the individual needs of those involved.

If your marriage or civil partnership has broken down you may wish to make the separation permanent, by way of divorce or dissolution. 

Can anyone apply for a divorce or dissolution?

Before you can apply for a divorce or dissolution you need to have been married or in a civil partnership for at least 12 months. If you have been married or in a civil partnership for less than one year, you may wish to consider a judicial separation or a Separation Agreement as a temporary alternative.

What is the process for a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership?

There are seven procedural steps to a straightforward, uncontested divorce or dissolution:

1. The petition is completed on your behalf and sent to the Court.
2. The Court send a copy to your spouse or civil partner
3. Your spouse or civil partner completes an Acknowledgement of Service form and returns it to the Court. 
4. You sign a statement confirming that the details are true.
5. The Court will consider the circumstances and decide whether you are entitled to a divorce.
6. The Court set a date for the pronouncement of Decree Nisi or Conditional Order.
7. Six weeks and one day after pronouncement of Decree Nisi or Conditional Order an application can be made for Decree Absolute or Final Order.

Is the process the same for the ending of a marriage and the dissolution of a civil partnership?

Yes, the process is the same although the terminology used is slightly different. For example, upon the dissolution being finalised you will be issued with a Final Order rather than a Decree Absolute.

How long does a divorce / dissolution take?

On average, a divorce or civil partnership dissolution takes between 4 to 6 months from the date when the petition is lodged until the final decree or order is granted. Negotiations regarding finances and children may take longer.

Will I have to go to court in order to obtain my divorce or dissolution?

You will not have to go to Court if you and your spouse have agreed to divorce or apply for a dissolution; agreed how the costs will be shared and agreed that there are no issues regarding finances or children to be resolved.

What is the court fees?

The issue fee when the petition is sent to the Court is currently £410. 

If you are on a low income or are in receipt of income support, you may be eligible for Court fee exemptions. Details can be found on the HMCTS website.

Does my spouse / civil partner have to pay towards my costs?

The costs of divorce or dissolution can be shared and, in some circumstances, it may be appropriate for one party to pay the full costs. It is always best to agree this beforehand.  If this cannot be agreed, the Court will make a decision for you.

If I am considering a divorce or dissolution should I make or change my will?

Yes, please contact a Solicitor in our Wills and Probate team www.lawblacks.com for more information.


Ann Robinson




Family & Divorce

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