Q. My wife and I are separated and we have made the decision to divorce. What are the next steps I need to take to get proceedings underway and how long will the process take?
A. From issuing proceedings to your divorce being finalised, providing your wife does not defend the divorce, the process usually takes approximately five to six months.
While you will not normally be required to attend court during the proceedings, the following steps will need to be taken to complete the divorce:
Your solicitor will complete a divorce petition setting out why your marriage has irretrievably broken down, which will be sent to the court alongside the court fee of £410 and your original marriage certificate.
Once the court receives the documentation, a copy will be forwarded on to your spouse along with a form known as an acknowledgement of service, which your spouse will need to complete to confirm that they have both received the documentation and agree to progress with the divorce. It is at this stage that your spouse has the option to defend the divorce.
The finalisation process: decree nisi and decree absolute
If your spouse agrees to the divorce, once the acknowledgement of service has been returned to the court, your solicitor will then apply for your decree nisi to be pronounced. At this stage the court will consider your case and, if satisfied that you’re entitled to a divorce, a date will be set for the pronouncement of your decree nisi.
Following the pronouncement of your decree nisi a period of six weeks and one day must pass before your solicitor is able to apply for your decree absolute, which once pronounced, means that you and your wife are no longer married and your divorce is finalised.
For more information on the divorce process or to discuss beginning divorce proceedings, please contact Janine Hutson on 01772 258321. Janine is part of the family law team at Harrison Drury Solicitors in Preston. We are always happy to help with any questions that you may have about divorce and family law.