Getting divorced can be a complicated and emotional process, especially if both parties are not in agreement about the reasons for the divorce. If neither of you can agree how you should divide up the money or property, things could potentially get complicated. However, if both parties agree to end the marriage, and there are no complicated issues surrounding the finances, the divorce process could be a lot cheaper and easier, especially if there is no reason for a solicitor to get involved.
Even though you may be filing for a divorce without involving a solicitor, you will need to follow the correct procedure:
1. Filing for divorce – this can cost £550, and once you have paid the money, you can then fill out a petition form, and start the divorce process.
2. Divide your property and money – You both need to decide and agree on how you will divide your property and money. In some cases, this is relatively easy, but if it looks like it’s going to be more complicated than you think, you should consider asking a solicitor for help. In all cases, you will need to obtain a binding court order that sets out all of your financial arrangements.
3. Agree as to why your marriage is ending – You both need to agree why your marriage is ending. The options you’ll have to choose from are: Adultery, desertion, unreasonable behavior, and living apart for more than two years. If you cannot agree, you may need the help of a solicitor.
4. Ask the court to approve the paperwork – Once the divorce has been approved, you will be issued with a decree nisi, 6 weeks after receiving this you can apply for the decree absolute.
5. Apply for a decree absolute – This is a document that legally ends your marriage. This means you are no longer married, and you’re free to remarry should you choose to do so.
DIY Divorce is usually the cheapest option
Obtaining, filling in, and sending off all of the court documents yourself is usually the cheapest option but in some cases, you can save time and money by hiring a process server to serve the divorce papers. Please note you may be exempt from paying court fees and the fees of a process server if you are on a low income. There are DIY divorce services available online, but the prices and the amount of help you’ll receive may vary. If you are willing to divorce without the help of a solicitor, be aware that you will need to fill in quite a few forms and be faced with decisions that could potentially be quite difficult to make.
If there are children involved, or the financial arrangements are complicated, you may wish to consider asking a solicitor for help.
How long does the divorce process take?
If everything goes according to plan, the divorce process could run from a minimum of four months, but it may take as long as six. If the case is particularly complicated, it could take much longer. If neither of you can agree on financial arrangements, the whole process could take up to two years.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.