The divorce process

An uncontested divorce usually takes in the region of four to six months to complete. To find out whether a fixed fee divorce process is right for you, call our Basildon team today on 01268 502 484 for a free 15 minute consultation.

How to start a divorce?

To start a divorce, a document known as the divorce petition is submitted to the court, along with the original (or a duplicate) marriage certificate and a Court fee of £550 plus VAT.

What is a divorce petition?

The divorce petition sets out that the marriage has broken down beyond repair and specifies one of five facts as the reason for the breakdown; these are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years’ separation with consent or five years’ separation.

In some instances it is also possible to include a request that your estranged spouse be responsible for your costs.

The individual submitting the paperwork to the court is referred to as the “petitioner” and their spouse is the “respondent”.

Once a divorce petition has been received

Usually, within one to two weeks of receipt of the divorce petition, the court will formally start the divorce and a notice of issue will be sent out. The respondent is then asked to complete a document known as the Acknowledgment of Service. The respondent has a limited amount of time to deal with this but, if they do not, in most cases, it is still possible for the petitioner to continue with the divorce providing they have been able to satisfy the court that the respondent has received the paperwork.

What is a Decree Nisi

The next step is for the petitioner to apply for Decree Nisi. This is the penultimate stage of the proceedings and the earliest point at which any financial agreement reached between the parties can be submitted to the court for approval. Before it is pronounced, the court will send out a Certificate of Entitlement confirming the petitioner is entitled to a divorce.

After its pronouncement, the Decree Nisi will be sent out and the petitioner then has to wait a minimum period of six weeks and one day before they can apply to finalise the divorce and obtain the Decree Absolute. This is the document which brings the marriage to an end and replaces the marriage certificate as proof of marital status.

Fixed fee divorce in Basildon

We offer a fixed fee divorce from our Basildon office, but to make sure it’s the route you want to take, our solicitors will talk you through it and recommend the best direction for your situation. The initial 15 minute call is free and is with a qualified solicitor.

With our office just off the Nevendon roundabout, we provide cost effective, specialist advice and legal services to people in and around Basildon, Wickford and Billericay.