Getting divorced has both an emotional and financial toll. Without a good lawyer behind you, you may end up getting the short end of the stick, and relitigation is never something you want to go through. That’s why Sterling Law is here to help.

Matters involving children & financial matters.

Divorce often involves financial & children matters, such as children custody, asset division, property separation, mortgage arrangements etc. If you think that your parental rights have been infringed or terms you have reached with your partner are unfair, we can provide you with the second opinion/options you have according to British and/or international law.

Applying for a Divorce

To file a divorce you need to:

  • Have been married for over a year
  • Have your relationship permanently broken down
  • Have your marriage itself be legally recognised in the UK
  • The UK is the permanent home of you, or your spouse

If a year has not passed

  • You cannot apply for a divorce
  • However, you can apply for an annulment or a separation – where you and your spouse can live apart without ending the marriage itself.

What does it mean to have your relationship permanently broken down?

  • Your spouse has engaged in adultery
  • Your spouse has behaved in an “unreasonable” manner – this can include abuse, both physical and verbal, drug/alcohol abuse, or refusing to share living expenses
  • Desertion – your spouse has left you for over 2 years before you apply for divorce
  • You have been separated for at least 2 years – even if you still live in the same house
  • You have been separated for at least 5 years – even if your spouse disagrees

Is it free to get a divorce?

No. The fee of £550 to process your divorce application applies.

What if my divorce application is rejected?

  • There are multiple steps where a divorce application can be rejected
  • The court may disagree that your relationship has permanently broken down, in which case you may need to provide additional evidence and/or go to court, or apply for a separation or annulment instead
  • The court may refuse to grant a decree nisi to you, in which case you may need to provide additional evidence and/or go to court
  • The court may refuse your application for a decree absolute, in which case our team will further help you. You must apply for your decree absolute within 12 months of receiving your decree nisi.

The process

Before sending in an application

  • Hopefully, you and your spouse will decide property and money divisions, as well as child custody and child maintenance payments before sending in the application
  • This, if done correctly, prevents having to go to court hearings – if you and your spouse also agree for reasons for divorce.

Sending in the application

  • You need to provide a marriage certificate or a certified copy of it, the full name and address of your spouse, and proof of a name change if it was changed since marriage.

After sending in the application

  • Your spouse is sent a copy of the divorce application by the court, and an “acknowledgement of service form” – in simple terms, this form acknowledges that there are court proceedings involving them.
  • Your spouse must respond, either agreeing with the divorce, signalling their intent to try to prevent the divorce, or objecting to paying costs in the divorce if they have claimed them. Your spouse has a maximum of 8 days to respond to this divorce.
  • If your spouse agrees with the divorce.
  • You move onto the next step, getting a decree nisi – a document saying the court sees no reason to object to the divorce.
  • If your spouse disagrees with the divorce.
  • They must answer an ‘answer to divorce’ form explaining why they disagree – if this is not done in 28 days, you can get a decree nisi anyway. If they do answer this form, you unfortunately have to go to court to discuss the divorce and try to get a decree nisi from them – where our team can help you too.

Getting a decree nisi

  • This is a document that says the court sees no reason to prevent your divorce
  • If you g et this document, you and your spouse are sent a certificate, which says when you will get the decree nisi. After 43 days with this being granted, you can apply for a decree absolute to finish the marriage entirely in law
  • If your decree nisi is rejected
  • The judge will explain in a form sent to you why it is has been rejected. You may need to provide additional written evidence, or else will be asked to go to court – where Sterling Law can help to argue your case.

The Final Step – Getting a Decree Absolute

  • This is the document which ends your marriage
  • It can only be applied for 43 days after receiving your decree nisi
  • Any divisions of property and money that are arranged and are to be legally binding must be done before applying for a decree absolute
  • Once applied for, if the time limits are met and there are no other reasons to not grant the divorce in the court’s eyes, the certificate is sent to you, or, if you went through us, to your appointed solicitor (we will then forward it to you) and you are divorced
  • Your spouse can apply for the decree absolute if you do not, but they have to wait an extra 3 months after the decree nisi is sent out.




Why Sterling Law

We are a modern and innovative boutique law firm with a flexible «can-do» approach. Our cross-domain specialisation allows for seamless solutions whether you are a business or an individual, allowing us to solve most complex problems, where several areas of law are involved.

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