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Key stages of the divorce process

Responding to the divorce petition and papers

When you are served with a divorce petition, you can choose whether to accept the divorce or to defend it. Generally speaking, a divorce is only worth defending on the grounds of jurisdiction. Though you might want to dispute the other facts, this is often a costly process and will make little difference to the outcome.

What does a divorce cost?

It is hard to predict what a divorce will cost, as it depends very much on the circumstances of your case. Some cases can be concluded in a few weeks, others lead to years of legal wrangling.

Vardags specialise high net worth cases, and our fees reflect that level of expertise. If you instruct us, we will be able to provide you with regular cost estimates during the course of your case. We also work with our clients to find suitable funding arrangements if you can't pay your fees right away.

Who pays for a divorce?

Generally, the parties agree between themselves who is to meet the costs of the divorce. Though on a strict interpretation the person responsible for the breakdown of the marriage (the respondent) should pay the costs, couples often find it more amenable to share these.

Should a divorce be defended, when the costs are likely to be much higher, the person who loses would be required to pay the winner's legal fees. This can be a very important consideration in contesting jurisdiction, where costs are likely to be high.

Establishing jurisdiction & grounds for divorce

The first stage in any divorce is the petition. This is the formal application to the court for the marriage to be dissolved. In this petition, you set out the details of your marriage and the reasons you want it to be brought to an end.

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Defending the divorce

You may feel aggrieved about what your partner has said in their divorce petition, especially if they accuse you of adultery. It is possible to defend the allegations all the way to a contested hearing.

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Annulment of marriage

An annulment, or a decree of nullity, is a decree obtained from the court confirming that a marriage is not valid. This may be granted on one of two grounds: either that the marriage is void, or that it is voidable.

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The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.