Important update: in April 2019, the government confirmed that England & Wales will (at some point) change the current laws and introduce no-fault divorce. The information in this blog is still valid until the laws change, however when this will be has not yet been confirmed. For updates on no-fault divorce, please enter your email address below and we'll alert you about any important changes.
There are five ‘facts’ in English and Welsh law that you can rely upon to prove your marriage has broken down ‘irretrievably’.. The definitions of these facts can be confusing, this blog explains the five years separation fact and grounds for divorce.
You and your partner must have been separated for at least five years. If you have decided to end the marriage but you both still live in the same property, the court will look at your living arrangements to decide whether you are ‘separated’ in the eyes of the law. For example, you may still live together, but sleep in separate parts of the house, eat and pay bills separately.
No your partner doesn’t have to agree to start divorce proceedings if you are relying on five years separation. You must provide an address however, for the court to send your ex the divorce petition.
If you are not contact with your ex you must demonstrate to the court that you have tried all reasonable means to find them. For example, you have contacted relatives, their place of work and last known address. If you can demonstrate to the court you have done this and are still unable to find them you can apply to ‘dispense with service’. Please speak to one of our divorce coaches if this applies to you.
This depends on your personal situation and whether you’ve already agreed on plans for childcare and financial arrangements. You can complete this divorce timeline to get a bespoke answer or book a free 15-minute advice call with one our Divorce Coaches here.
In general, from filing your divorce petition it can take around 20 – 22 weeks divorce. Beware of companies promising quickie divorces in 12 weeks. Its just not possible due to the workload of most divorce centres.
Divorce is rarely completely free. You may need to pay the court £550 to process your divorce. However, you may be eligible for discount on these fees, just click here to find out if you're entitled to a discount.
So aside from the court fees, you have a choice about how you divorce. You can do it yourself using our free amicable divorce app or by doing it online. You can ask a lawyer to help you – but this can be expensive if you have to go to court. To work out what’s best for you, it’s worth speaking to us and we’ll talk you through the options.