divorce process now
The faster you act, the sooner you can begin planning for the future. Our solicitors can advise on how to divorce legally and secure the best chance of favourable terms. We’ll keep divorce costs down, and give you an idea of your next steps.
Our divorce solicitors make separation simpler
You’ve already had to face the dissolution of a relationship. So whether you’re requesting a divorce or are coming to terms with your partner’s wishes, we want to make it as easy as we can. We’re here to take some of the time, stress, and second-guessing out of your divorce proceedings.
We take an honest, sensitive approach to these cases. We’ll analyse the grounds for divorce, bring all the right documents together, build a financial settlement in your favour, and if children are involved, put their needs first. Optimal can also take communication off your hands, both with the court and your ex-partner’s solicitor.
We have extensive experience in many kinds of separation. In just a few months, you could put the past behind you and move forward.
Find a divorce lawyer you can rely on
Bringing up the past can be difficult, even if your relationship has simply come to a natural end. We’ll advise you sensitively on the best course of action and, where necessary, draw on our wider knowledge of family law. From childcare responsibilities to issues such as domestic abuse, we cover it all.
Not every case ends up in court either. We’ll try to resolve matters amicably between you and your former partner. We can arrange a mediator to support discussions over things like financial settlements, and will work with you to create a solid case to achieve the outcome you’re seeking.
- Changes to a will in the wake of separation – giving more of your estate to someone else, for example.
- Filling in the divorce application form with information from your marriage certificate and other paperwork.
- Coping with challenges if your partner doesn’t agree to the divorce.
- Deciding who will live with any children, and what reasonable visiting rights might be.
- Applying for new visas if you rely on a marital visa for the UK.
We’ve helped thousands, like you, get the best outcome
Do I need a solicitor for divorce?
If you avoid legal help, you can unfortunately fall prey to mistakes. For example, your ex-partner may try to hide their assets or ask for more than they’re entitled to. There may also be faults in the paperwork, or you might even run into trouble around whether you’re able to get divorced (if the marriage wasn’t registered in England or Wales).
Who pays solicitor fees in divorce?
Usually, both of you will pay for your own legal aid. But there are plenty of exceptions. The person who asks for divorce is called the Petitioner, and the other partner is the Respondent. If the Petitioner is leaving because of adultery, poor behaviour, or desertion, they can ask for the Respondent to pay some or all of their legal fees. It will be based on a court hearing at the decree nisi stage.
What are the legal grounds for divorce?
New laws from 6th April 2022 have changed the legal grounds for divorce, making it much easier. Now, you just have to cite irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Additionally, you must have been married for over a year. You’ll have a 20-week cooling-off period, which gives you time to reflect on the likes of division of finances, property and childcare arrangements.
If you’re the person seeking divorce, you’ll list the reasons on a D8 form, pay court fees of £593 (as of 2023), and apply for a conditional order at the same time.
When does it become official?
The final court order was previously called a ‘decree absolute’ – it’s now called a ‘final order’. This follows on from a conditional order (previously referred to as a ‘decree nisi’), and takes your divorce from an intention to a legally binding decision. You’ll have to wait a minimum of 43 days after the conditional order has been approved until you can apply for the final order. The divorce will then be made official in two or three weeks, providing disputes don’t hold it back.
How long do solicitors keep divorce papers?
When you get divorced, it becomes part of public record. This means your solicitor will keep the decree absolute for six or seven years. Different firms have their own practices. Unlike wills and nuptial agreements, such a record is eventually destroyed when it passes this time limit.
What is an annulment of marriage?
Think of it as trying to prove that the marriage or civil partnership never existed, officially, in the first place. You have to show that there was some kind of deception. Maybe your partner was underage at the time, and didn’t tell you. Perhaps they committed fraud about themselves and their identity. They might even have been married to someone else when they married you. Annulments – if they’re legitimate – are far easier to move through the courts.
Get a clean break with Optimal at your side
As specialist divorce solicitors, we’re driven by a need for speed, understanding, and a rigorous examination of what you want. So tell us all about your situation.