How to file for divorce


If you wish to file for divorce, one of the first things you should do is find out your eligibility and what grounds are available to you in making an application for divorce. This is something that a divorce solicitor can assist you with, as well as filing all the necessary forms on your behalf.

In England and Wales, a couple must be married for one year before they can file for divorce. If a couple have been married for one year or more then either party to the marriage can file for divorce. Application is made via what is known as a ‘petition’. The applicant is then known as the ‘petitioner’ and their spouse is known as the ‘respondent’. In order to successfully apply for a divorce, the petitioner must state that their marriage has broken down irretrievably because of either adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or separation of a certain period.

In Northern Ireland, the same grounds for divorce apply, but whereas in England and Wales a couple must wait for one year of marriage to divorce, in Northern Ireland it is two years.

In Scotland, an alternative divorce procedure to the traditional one is available, known as a ‘simplified divorce’. Couples in Scotland may apply for a simplified divorce on the basis that there are no children under the age of 16 and no outstanding disputes regarding money or property between the parties. This alternative procedure does not require court attendance and normally takes between six to eight weeks.

If you wish to file for divorce and would like to obtain some advice, then Caven can put you in touch with a local law firm with specialist family law / divorce solicitors free of charge. So if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local family law / divorce solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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