We answer your frequently asked questions on splitting up.
What are the grounds for divorce?
There is now only one ground for divorce which is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Since 6th April 2022 one or both parties can file for divorce without alleging fault by the other and they only need to state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
How long does a divorce take?
For divorces started after 6th
April 2022 the parties have to wait 20 weeks before they can ask for the first divorce order, the Conditional Order of Divorce, to be made. After that order is made they have to wait another 6 weeks before they can apply for the Final Order of Divorce which actually ends the marriage.
Does my spouse/partner need to know I’ve come to see you?
Your partner has no need to know that you have come for legal advice. Any advice/meetings are strictly confidential between you and ourselves. However, if a child protection issue arises we may need to refer that to Children’s Services.
Do you need to have been married for a minimum period before you can get a divorce?
Yes, for one year. You can obtain a judicial separation at any time after marriage, however, a decree of judicial separation does not end a marriage.
How much does a divorce cost?
It is difficult to estimate costs in family matters; but a straightforward divorce usually costs around £1,150 including court fees of £593 and VAT. The costs of proceedings about children and/or financial issues can be substantial, but depend on the circumstances of the case. An estimate of costs will be given at our first meeting.
We are not married and we live in my partner’s home. Am I entitled to anything?
is no simple answer to this. The law gives no automatic rights to a
partner in these circumstances, but if you have contributed towards the
deposit on a purchase, or provided money for significant improvement to
the house, you will usually have a claim. It is worth getting legal
If we have been living together, but haven’t married, does everything have to be split 50/50?
necessarily. The law implements any express agreement that a couple
makes about their property. If you have no precise agreement, the law
may infer an agreement dependent on the circumstances. Again, this depends on the individual circumstances.
Do you offer a free first appointment?
We do not offer a free first appointment to new clients to the firm, but we do provide the first meeting (of up to one hour) and a letter of legal advice at a fixed fee. Payment needs to be made either before or at the appointment. Please contact us to find out the cost as it depends on which member of our team you see.
Do I need to come in to see you?
If you are seeking legal advice it is usually best to arrange an appointment to see a solicitor/legal adviser so we can discuss matters fully. We will advise you about your position, what advice you might take and your legal costs. We can do the meeting by video conference if that would be helpful but most people find it best to come in to see us in person.
For Frequently Asked Questions relating to children, (eg contact and the CSA/CSM) visit our Childcare FAQ pages
If you have questions about these or any other issues, please don't hesitate to contact Burnetts' divorce and separation solicitors on 01228 552222 or by emailing email@example.com