Sadly, every year around 150,000 marriages end in divorce. The legal process of ending a marriage can have a major impact on all family members – both emotional and financial.

If you are having problems in your marriage, you should first consider whether these difficulties can be resovled with the help of a trained relationship counsellor. Organisations such as Relate could help with this.

If you decide to divorce, we will be able to advise you and guide you through the process. Our divorce solicitors will outline your options at every stage and give you the information to make your own decisions.

To get a divorce in England and Wales, you need to show that you have been married for more than a year and that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The marriage must have broken down for one of the reasons below:

  • Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live together;
  • Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live together;
  • You have been separated for 2 years and your spouse agrees to divorce;
  • You have been separated for 5 years;
  • Your spouse deserted you more than 2 years ago.
  • The reason for the breakdown of the marriage forms the basis of the divorce application (known as the “petition”). If more than one of these is applicable, we will advise on which is the most suitable to your circumstances.

    The dicorce process has two stages – a “Decree Nisi” and a “Decree Absolute”. A Decree Nisi is an interim stage, granted by the court when the ground for divorce is established. After a period of time (at least 6 weeks and 1 day), it can be converted to a Decree Absolute, which marks the end of the marriage. This will not normally happen until arrangements for any children and financial matters are agreed. You can stop the process at any time before the Decree Absolute is issued.