Why would someone need this service?

Divorce or dissolution of partnership becomes necessary when parties who are married or have formed a civil partnership, no longer wish to remain linked to each other and are therefore considering dissolving their marriage or civil partnership. If there is any doubt about whether or not the parties have contracted a valid marriage, then it is also possible to apply to a Family Court for a decision on whether the marriage is valid in the UK.

How does the process work?

To start the process, one party must file a petition for divorce or dissolution of civil partnership. This party is known as the Petitioner. You cannot file a joint petition asking together to end the marriage or partnership.

The other party then files a form in response and for the purpose of the proceedings is known as the Respondent. The form will say whether or not the Respondent opposes the petition or what the Petitioner is asking for in it. If the Respondent does not oppose the divorce or dissolution, the Petitioner can file a signed statement applying for a timetable for the rest of the divorce or dissolution as undefended.

Although it can be done, defending a divorce or dissolution is very rare, as it does not usually achieve anything.

It used to be very important not to be the “guilty party”, but the allegations of bad behaviour in a divorce petition are very rarely important in dealing with other matters such as arrangements for children or money.

How long is the legal process when getting a divorce?

Provided that both parties do what is required of them promptly, an undefended divorce usually takes about six months to complete. The petitioner has more control over how long the process actually takes and can start and then delay the divorce if he or she wishes to.

Is it expensive? How do the costings work?

Your first consultation with us will be for a fixed fee of £100 + VAT for a face-to-face consultation of up to one hour. The further fees payable will be dependent upon whether we are instructed by the Petitioner (the person who starts divorce proceedings) or the Respondent.

Grant Saw will work to a fixed fee for acting for the Petitioner. We will advise you of this when you contact us.

If we are instructed on behalf of the Respondent we will provide you with an estimate of costs which will be dependent on your particular circumstances.

What should people consider before calling?

It is always a good idea for both parties to have an in depth discussion before proceeding although perhaps after some advice from Grant Saw, to decide the important issues, such as arrangements for children, property and money and try to reach an agreement. It is often possible to have the divorce go through either completely or almost to the final stage while discussion goes on on these other matters.

Why are Grant Saw the best people for the job?

Here at Grant Saw we have very experienced lawyers who specialise in this area and so clients can benefit from a lawyer who they trust and empathise with. The divorce process can be a stressful and upsetting time. We recognise this and we try our very best to be sympathetic and guide our clients through the process in the most sensitive way possible.

Divorce tips

If getting the divorce concluded promptly is important to you, it is worth trying to agree that you should be the Petitioner. The reason being that the Petitioner will have more control over how quickly the process completes.

Divorce myth busting

What myths surround this area?

The main myth is that it is important not to be the “guilty party” in a divorce. Who petitions and who responds on what ground very rarely matters now if the parties have agreed that the marriage has come to an end.

Meet the Divorce team