Those who want to a dissolution of marriage should expect to pay a £550 upfront fee before you could initiate a divorce in the U.K.
If you plan to file for a divorce in London, solicitor firms can help with drafting a petition for you, particularly for no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces take longer than six months, but that could soon change after the announcement of proposed changes to the divorce law. Justice Secretary David Gauke revealed the amendments to start the process of divorce immediately, despite not involving any allegations.
What to Expect Before Filing
You need to be married for at least 12 months before you could file for a divorce in England or Wales, where you should be a permanent resident at the same time. Otherwise, you have to consult a lawyer to find out the applicable rule based on the government’s D8 guidelines. The same applies to spouses who hold a U.K. visa arising from the marriage.
You can either apply for a new one or leave the country by the time you receive a decree absolute, which is the legal document that finalizes the end of your relationship. You could only apply for this after waiting for six weeks upon the arrival of a decree nisi. This would state that a judge validates your claim for a divorce.
But since most divorces aren’t settled amicably, there’s a chance that you would have to take your spouse to a court trial. It usually happens when your partner disagrees with your plan to break off the marriage. A legal separation can serve as your alternative in case of no-fault divorce. Fault-based divorces often involve adultery, desertion and domestic violence as common reasons.
Tweaking the Divorce Law
A lot of Britons choose a fault-based divorce even without a clear allegation in the first place, since this lets the process to be finalized within as early as three months up to six months. Current rules require couples to live apart for at least two years before filing for a no-fault divorce, and it’s evident that many of them are unwilling to remain married for that long.
As a result, most couples then engage in a “blame game” to minimize the impact of marriage dissolution on their finances and personal assets. Gauke believes that allowing people to separate based on an irretrievable marriage should make the process more bearable. Instead of spending two years living separately, people will have to focus on moving forward with their newly single lives.
The proposed amendments will take effect as soon as possible. Once approved, no-fault divorces could be finalized within six months at the earliest. Joint filings for a divorce will also be possible, while spouses will no longer refuse a divorce petition.
In the end, remember to consult a family lawyer to find out more about your chances for a successful no-fault divorce. While the Internet provides a wealth of information, it is still better to hear answers directly from a legal professional.