Experts in Family Law and Mediation
At MPR Solicitors, our family law team offer positive, non-confrontational divorce law advice to our clients. We are committed to helping families resolve disputes outside of court wherever possible; however, if litigation proves inevitable, we can provide strong, persuasive representation. Our family law team understands the distress clients face during a divorce, especially if there are disputes over the financial settlement and arrangements for children. Therefore, we provide sensitive, empathetic service, putting your wishes and the needs of any children at the forefront of what we do.
To contact our divorce law solicitors, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our central London or Hounslow office.
We have years of experience dealing with all types of family law matters, including high-net-worth and contentious divorce. All your dealings with us will be in complete confidence. If you need advice from accountants, wealth managers, real estate agents, valuers and/or counsellors, we can recommend highly-experienced professionals to you, so you can access the support needed to move forward following your divorce.
How do I get a divorce?
You must be married for at least a year before you can obtain a divorce. Your permanent home must be in the UK, and your marriage must be recognised under UK law.
To obtain a divorce, you need to file a petition with the court, stating your reasons for wishing to end your marriage. The petition will then be served on your spouse. They will need to complete an Acknowledgment of Service form which will be included in the petition and send it back within seven days.
You and your spouse will need to agree how your finances will be divided and arrangements for your children.
If your spouse chooses not to defend the divorce (which is highly likely), the court will grant a Decree Nisi once it is satisfied that the grounds for proving marital breakdown have been proved. This process usually happens around two months after filing the petition.
If you are the petitioner, you can apply for a Decree Absolute six weeks and one day after your Decree Nisi is issued. Respondents must wait four and a half months. Once you have been granted a Decree Absolute, your marriage is over, and you may marry someone else.
What are the grounds for getting a divorce?
The only legal reason for getting a divorce is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down because of one/more of the following grounds:
- unreasonable behaviour
- separation of two years (with consent)
- Separation of five years (no consent required)
Can a divorce be defended?
You can defend a divorce if you do not accept the grounds your spouse has stated for the reasons the relationship has irretrievably broken down. However, defended divorces are rare and emotionally and financially counter-productive.
The most common reason for a divorce to be defended is ‘unreasonable behaviour’. It is therefore important to ensure the petition for unreasonable behaviour, is drafted in a non-inflammatory way. A family law solicitor would usually identify four to six examples of unreasonable behaviour that will satisfy the Court that the respondent behaved in such an unreasonable manner that the applicant finds it unbearable to live with them. To avoid a petition being defended, we will try and agree on these examples with your spouse before filing the petition with the court.
If you do not agree with the examples of unreasonable behaviour listed on the divorce petition, we can negotiate with your spouse’s solicitor to have them changed to something more acceptable. This is a more cost-effective option than trying to defend the divorce.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
The amount of time it takes to obtain a divorce depends on several factors, including whether you and your partner can agree on the financial settlement and arrangements for children amicably. If this is the case, a divorce can be finalised in four to six months. However, if you have to attend mediation or court to sort out a dispute, the process can take a lot longer.
At MPR Solicitors, we are committed to supporting couples in resolving their disputes in a non-confrontational manner. We aim to assist you to agree as much as possible between yourselves or through collaborative methods such as round-table negotiation. However, if court proceedings are necessary, we will ensure your interests are robustly represented and protected.
How much does it cost to get a divorce?
The cost of a divorce depends once again on how amicable you and your spouse can be regarding key issues such as the financial settlement and arrangements for children.
At MPR our divorce and family law team will work with you to manage the costs involved at this difficult time.
Our solicitors have the knowledge and experience required to help couples resolve their family law disputes through peaceful, non-confrontational methods. We will work with you and your spouse’s solicitor to negotiate matters regarding finances and children and strive to ensure court proceedings are only instigated as a last resort.
Do I have to have a solicitor to obtain a divorce?
Technically you do not need to instruct a solicitor to obtain a divorce. However, the end of a marriage is a traumatic time, and you may struggle to make decisions that are in your long-term best interests.
Working with an experienced family law solicitor means you are more likely to achieve a fair financial settlement so you can move on with your life. If you and your spouse have jointly owned assets or, there are pensions and/or a business created during the marriage, then it is imperative you seek legal advice and representation. Failing to instruct a solicitor in the first instance can lead to considerably more expensive legal bills, as lack of experience/understanding/knowledge in the courts and in negotiating with your ex-spouse’s lawyers, can lead to longer time frames and lengthy and drawn out court hearings.
At MPR Solicitors, we will advise, represent and support you throughout the divorce process, ensuring you make sound decisions for you and your children and your best interests are protected.
To find out more about our divorce solicitors, please call us on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.