Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to reveal the answer.
Advice and support FAQs
To get a divorce in England and Wales you need to have been married for one year or two years in Northern Ireland and your marriage must be recognised as valid by United Kingdom law. You or your partner must be living in England or Wales when you apply for the divorce or one of you must have been living in England or Wales during the year before the application is made.
If your partner does not object to the divorce you can apply for an undefended divorce. If there are no children and no complicated property matters then you may be able to complete the divorce procedure without the help of a solicitor.
If your partner does not agree to the divorce, it is called a defended divorce and you will need the help of a solicitor.
A divorce will be granted by the county court if you can show the marriage no longer exists. Legally, this is known as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The court will look at the evidence to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. The court will accept any of the following as proof; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years separation with consent or five years separation.
You may get legal aid to cover the costs of the divorce proceedings and to deal with issues about money and children if your finances are within the limits laid down by the Legal Services Commission (LSC).To check if you are eligible, use the Legal Aid Calculator on the Community Legal Advice website at http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk.
There are three stages of legal aid funding depending on the work that you need doing. The first stage is called Legal Help. This covers your first interview with the solicitor. If your solicitor thinks you need further public funding and you are eligible, they will get you to fill in the application forms.
However, even if you receive legal aid, it is not necessarily free. If you end up with money or a house as a result of your divorce, you may have to pay the Legal Services Commission back. The way they get their share is called the statutory charge. This charge does not apply to the costs of mediation. You can get more information on paying for your legal aid from the LSC website at http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/.