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Divorce and Separation

Making the decision to divorce a partner can be very difficult, especially when children and assets like property are involved. Our leading Family lawyers are known for their compassionate and efficient nature when dealing with these types of cases. We will work closely with you to make sure the process is easy and clear, whilst gaining you the best possible outcome. If you would like to speak to one of our specialist team in confidence call 0800 437 0322 or request a call back online.

We have the ability and experience to deal with the full range of divorce disputes.

  • Our family law team are committed to constructive and conciliatory solutions where possible but are strong advocates when needed.
  • Our lawyers are cost conscious and will not rack up unnecessary fees. We will never approach a case from a litigation perspective.
  • Our divorce lawyers are in London and have been working on many different types of cases from more commonplace to very high-value divorces.
  • We have the most favourable rates in comparison to our competitors – we provide value for money.
  • We will explain the process clearly and keep you informed about what is happening at each stage, so there’s never any surprises at the end.

What is the process of getting a divorce?

If you are thinking about divorcing or separating, it is best to ensure that you are fully informed of your options and the issues you will have to consider throughout the process. Early advice is always recommended as this can put you in a more favourable position. We will go through with you the process and what will happen and when. We make sure that your requirements are met and that we provide advice which is clear, understandable and effective.

When and how can I apply for a divorce?

You cannot apply to the Court for a divorce until you have been married for at least a year.

  • You must file an application at Court called a petition.
  • The person filing the petition is the Petitioner and the person who receives the petition is the Respondent.
  •  The benefit of being the Petitioner is that you have greater control over the divorce timetable.
  • You may also be able to obtain a costs order against the Respondent if you are seeking a divorce based on adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

In which jurisdiction should I apply for divorce?

Any application to deal with the matrimonial finances will be linked to the divorce proceedings. It is, therefore, crucial to carefully consider the jurisdiction in which the divorce proceedings are commenced as there can be significant differences in the way that a Court treats assets or awards maintenance. The Courts in England and Wales can only deal with divorce proceedings in specific circumstances.

What are the grounds for divorce?

There is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down you must set out the details of one of five possible facts:

  1.  Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Two years separation with consent
  4. Five years separation without consent
  5. Desertion

How do I issue the petition?

The divorce petition must be delivered to Court so that it can be issued. This begins the divorce proceedings.

Serving the petition

The petition must then be served on the Respondent with an Acknowledgement of Service form. In order for the divorce to continue without delay the Acknowledgement of Service must be signed by the Respondent confirming that he or she does not intend to defend the divorce. The form must then be returned to Court within 7 days. A copy of the completed Acknowledgment of Service will then be sent to the Petitioner’s solicitors by the Court.

Decree Nisi

The application for Decree Nisi is prepared by the Petitioner’s solicitors. The application is delivered to the Court with a statement in support signed by the Petitioner to confirm that the contents of the petition are true. The documents are put before a District Judge who will decide whether the petition is proved. If the District Judge is satisfied that the petition is proved he or she will sign a certificate stating the date on which Decree Nisi will be pronounced. Once pronounced, the Court will send a copy of Decree Nisi to the Petitioner’s solicitors and the Respondent. As the Decree Nisi is the first stage of the divorce, you’ll remain married until the divorce has been finalised.

Applying for Decree Absolute

Six weeks after Decree Nisi is pronounced the Petitioner can apply for Decree Absolute. This is the final stage of the divorce and once it is granted by the Court your divorce is finalised. The Respondent can apply for Decree Absolute three months after the date on which the Petitioner can apply for Decree Absolute. If the application is made by the Respondent it is not automatically granted by the Court, so the Petitioner can oppose it if necessary.

Judicial Separation and Annulment

If you have been married for less than a year (or in certain situations longer) it is possible to commence judicial separation or annulment proceedings. You should bear in mind that judicial separation proceedings will not terminate the marriage and you would not be free to re-marry. It is possible to enter a Deed of Separation instead of a divorce, to formally record that you are separated, and to also record any financial agreement.

Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen to deal with your divorce?

Our lawyers are well respected and specialist in providing expert advice in all areas of family law. In the Legal 500 legal directory, Jacqueline Major has been described as “‘determined to offer a full and high level of service to every client’, and is well versed in private and public law family matters.
We have a dedicated team of specialists who can deal with your divorce in the most cost effective and professional manner.

To speak with one of our divorce lawyers in London call us on 0800 437 0322  or request a call back online.

Our Family Law Solicitors are backed by four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0800 437 0322 today.

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Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Phone:0800 437 0322
Fax:020 7388 2106
Address:Hodge Jones & Allen LLP
180 North Gower Street
London
NW1 2NB