Our divorce lawyers understand that getting a divorce can be an emotional and confusing experience. Our family lawyers have extensive experience in dealing sensitively with complex legal issues following a marriage breakdown.
Our dedicated team of divorce solicitors are all experts in providing specialist legal advice tailored towards your individual family needs. We can also work closely with other departments internally including Property Lawyers, Corporate and Commercial Lawyers to ensure that your financial needs are protected comprehensively.
What are the grounds for divorce?
In England & Wales, there is only one ground for divorce: that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
The person who starts proceedings, called the Petitioner, must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving one of the following five facts:
- Adultery: Infidelity of a spouse – a married partner having intercourse with someone who is not their husband/wife.
- Unreasonable Behaviour: the spouse has behaved in such an unreasonable manner that the other party finds it intolerable to live with him or her
- Desertion: the spouse has abandoned the petitioner without consent and has done so for at least two years. This is not the same as an agreed separation.
- 2 years separation with consent: Each party has agreed to separate, and this has been the case for at least 2 years prior to starting the divorce proceedings.
- 5 years separation: Both parties have been separated for more than 5 years, with or without consent.
Read our full guide on the Grounds for Divorce.
How do I get a divorce?
A divorce cannot be applied for until a couple has been married for at least one year. Divorce proceedings are started by filing a divorce petition at court.
Either party to the marriage or civil partnership can start divorce proceedings. The party applying for a divorce or dissolution is known as the petitioner. The other spouse is known as the respondent. Divorce and dissolution proceedings are dealt with by the Family Court.
Read Myerson's guide on how to start divorce proceedings.
How long do divorce proceedings take?
The divorce process itself is relatively simple to navigate. Due to the reduction in a number of Family Courts in England & Wales in recent years, an uncontested divorce can take between four to six months. However, where there are additional disputes surrounding children or financial matters, the process can take anywhere from 6 – 18 months. The length of the divorce process depends on a number of factors.
Read more about how long it might take to get a divorce.