The Divorce Process by Mortlake Law & Mediation

    The Divorce Process

    The prospect of divorce can be daunting. Here, I outline what happens during the divorce process and how I can help you to minimise costs.

    If you are at the early stages of a relationship breakdown please also visit the divorce page for information about mediation as well as the legal process.

    What happens during the divorce process?

    First, we first meet for approximately one hour – either at my office, conveniently located in East Sheen, your home or a place of your choice. If you are working full time, evening appointments are available.

    During this meeting we will go through a detailed series of questions that will cover all the essential facts to clarify your legal position.

    What you need to bring with you:

    • Your marriage certificate
    • Any correspondence that you have had with your partner or their solicitors
    • Any court papers you have received if applicable

    It is purely information gathering so I can advise you as to where you stand for the divorce and your potential financial position. Nothing is legally binding at this stage.

    Should you wish to proceed with petitioning for divorce, I will advise and guide you through what will be needed next if applicable i.e:

    • Statement for arrangements of children form D8
    • Completion of mediation form FM1

    Keeping your divorce costs down

    There are ways to keep the cost of divorce down. Where possible, I will advise you to complete part of the mandatory process yourself with my professional guidance.

    The divorce petition: I draft this for you and any other necessary documents. I will then invite you to sign this at my office or I can send to you by registered delivery.

    I  also prepare for you a memorandum that will detail which court to use, the court fee and how to pay. This then lets you post the application, saving unnecessary document handling costs.

    If the process is too stressful for you to handle – do not worry. It’s all too common for simple tasks to feel impossible when you are anxious or worried. I will willingly do for you what you don’t want to do – but if I can save you money I will suggest it.

    How long does the court take to serve divorce documentation?

    The court will normally serve the documentation to the other party within a week and its receipt needs to be acknowledged by them.

    Problematic partners and divorce documentation

    If you envisage there may be difficulties with the service of documents and that your ex-partner may cause problems, the court bailiff can be requested to serve the petition.

    How long does a divorce take?

    It depends from court to court but usually your Decree Nisi will be received in around 2 months.

    If the divorce is undefended which is most usually the case, neither party will need to attend the divorce hearing.

    You can then apply for the Decree Absolute 6 weeks and 1 day from when you received the Decree Nisi.

    Before you apply for the Decree Absolute it is important that all the issues including financial and child contact agreements have been reached.

    For help with your divorce please telephone 020 3935 9490