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Key stages of the divorce process

Please note that the following guide only applies to divorces started before 4pm on 5th April 2022. For divorces after this date, no fault divorce now applies.

Responding to the petition and papers

When you are served with a divorce petition, you can choose whether to accept 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 it 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 in 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 cant pay your fees right away.

Who pays?

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 winners legal fees. This can be a very important consideration in contesting jurisdiction, where costs are likely to be high.

Establishing jurisdiction & UK grounds for divorce


Establishing jurisdiction (residence and domicile) London is known as the “divorce capital of the world”, but not everyone is entitled to divorce in the London courts. To have your divorce heard in England and Wales, it is necessary to establish jurisdiction....

Defending the divorce


Please note that the following guide only applies to divorces started before 4pm on 5th April 2022. For divorces after this date, no fault divorce now applies. Defending the particulars You may feel aggrieved about what your partner has said in their divorce petition,...

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. A void marriage is one which was invalid ab initio and has...

No fault divorce


‘No fault’ divorce in England and Wales was introduced on 6th April 2022. Previously, the sole ground upon which a divorce may be granted is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. However, this could only be established by proving one of the following...

The difference between decree nisi & decree absolute


Please note that the following guide only applies to divorces started before 4pm on 5th April 2022. For divorces after this date, no fault divorce now applies. Decree nisi is the first, conditional decree in divorce, and will be granted if the respondent has not indicated...

Issuing Divorce Proceedings when the other party will not sign


Please note that the following guide only applies to divorces started before 4pm on 5th April 2022. For divorces after this date, no fault divorce now applies. To start divorce proceedings in this country, one party issues divorce proceedings (petitioner) and the other...

How long does the divorce process take?


Please note that the following guide only applies to divorces started before 4pm on 5th April 2022. For divorces after this date, no fault divorce now applies. There is a common misconception that a “quickie” divorce is possible in this country. Divorcing...

What happens in a Divorce Hearing?


The involvement of the courts is one of the methods used to progress divorce proceedings. It is also likely that other processes will be used, such as mediation, collaborative law, negotiations between the parties or their representatives or family arbitration. It is also...

What should you do if your spouse is behaving unreasonably during divorce negotiations?


Very often, divorce can entail an emotionally strenuous experience which, in turn, can make the proceedings particularly stressful for the parties involved. It is also not uncommon for proceedings to become acrimonious, with many sensitive factors at play such as deciding on...

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.

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