Divorce

Divorce can be due to many reasons and is often very emotionally challenging.

Divorce
Immigration

Our team have over 18 years of experience in advising and assistingclients in all aspects of UK immigration law

Divorce
Business & Commercial

We take a robust approach to protecting your interests at all times to achieve the best possible result for you and your business.

Divorce
Criminal Defence

We specialise in providing a highly personalised and efficient service from the very beginnings of a criminal investigation

Divorce
Road Traffic

Road Traffic violations can often be life changing events resulting in the loss of your driving licence

Divorce
Litigation

We take a robust approach to protecting your interests at all times to achieve the best possible result for you and your business.

Divorce


Divorce Solicitors London

Divorce 

Divorce procedure and how to get started

Divorce can be due to many reasons and is often very emotionally challenging. Mansouri & Son have the expertise and experience to help relieve some of the pressures and complexities of the divorce procedure; leaving you with much needed peace of mind to start to reconstruct your new life without your partner. Often during divorce you will see a side to your spouse, which you never knew existed. We can help to allay some of your concerns and we will advise you, in plain English, what your rights are and what you can expect to achieve from the divorce.

As part of our ongoing commitment to client satisfaction, our fees structure will be unambiguous and very reasonable. In most cases we will be able to conduct your whole divorce process on a simple Fixed Fee basis, allowing you to budget for the rest of life’s up’s and downs.

Getting Started

To commence a divorce in England & Wales you must first lodge a Petition. The petition will embody the grounds and facts upon which you seek your divorce. It will also embody any financial claim which you may seek against your spouse. If you have children, you will also need to lodge a ‘statement of arrangements for the children’.

To lodge a divorce petition, you will need to have been married for at least 1 year and either you or your spouse must be ordinarily domiciled in England & Wales. It doesn’t usually matter where you were married, as long as you meet this criteria. You will however need the original of your marriage certificate. If you don’t have a marriage certificate, we can advise you of your options. Divorce in England & Wales can only be on the grounds that the ‘marriage has irretrievably broken down‘. This ground for divorce must be supported by at least one of the five available ‘facts‘.

A divorce petition must be based on at least one of the 5 permitted ‘facts’ for divorce. These are:

Unreasonable behaviour

Adultery

►You have been separated for 2 or more years  and both of you agree to a divorce

►You have been deserted for 2 years. Although this ground does not need to be admitted by your spouse, it is a particularly complex ground on which to seek a divorce.

►you and your spouse have been separated for at least 5 years immediately preceding the lodging of the petition for divorce at court; often called the ‘five year separation rule‘.

read more about the ‘grounds’ for divorce.

 The Divorce Process

Once the petition has been drafted it must be sent to the relevant court office, with the accompanying fee, in order that it can be filed. The initial fee charged by the court for filing the divorce petition is currently £340 (as of 1 September 2010).

When the divorce petition has been filed, one copy will be sent to your spouse by the court along with a form called the ‘acknowledgement of service form’. This is your spouses opportunity to state their case and identify whether or not they intend to defend the divorce petition, or alternatively whether they accept the petition. Often you will know in advance what their reaction is going to be. A copy of the ‘acknowledgement of service form’ will be sent to you once your spouse has completed it and returned it to the court.

The next stage requires you to send a document called a ‘request for directions for trial (Special Procedure)‘ to the court. This must be supported by an Affidavit. Where an Affidavit is required, you may need to swear this before a solicitor. There may be a fee for this which is usually about £5-£10.

By this stage a District Judge will check the documents to ensure that all the necessary steps have been taken and that all necessary arrangements have been made for any children you may have. If the District Judge is satisfied with the documents, he or she will issue a ‘Decree Nisi‘ of divorce. A Decree Nisi is valid for 6 weeks and effectively means that unless any objections to the grant of the divorce are received within the 6 week period, the court intends to issue a ‘Decree Absolute‘ of divorce, dissolving the marriage, 6 weeks after the issue of the Decree Nisi.

Assuming that no complications arise, 6 weeks after the issue of the Decree Nisi, the Petitioner can apply for a ‘Decree Absolute‘ of divorce; meaning that the divorce is complete and the marriage is legally at an end. There is usually a fee of £45 payable to the court, to obtain the Decree Absolute of divorce.

In an uncontested and straightforward divorce, the process usually takes about 4-6 months from start to finish. However; where you will be seeking a financial settlement or there are disagreements about the division of the matrimonial home or assets, then it is imperative that these are raised before you obtain the Decree Absolute of divorce. Raising these issues after the issue of the decree absolute can present considerable problems.

Complications

Many things can complicate a divorce. Examples of these are when you do not know your spouses current whereabouts, or there may be serious disagreement about the children, or worse still, you may be the victim of domestic violence. We can advise and assist you with these and many other complications at all stages of the divorce procedure. For specific advice relating to your particular circumstances, just call 020 8401 7352.

What is Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence in English law can be broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviour by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family or cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression such as hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, or threats of physical aggression. Also included is sexual abuse, emotional abuse, controlling or dominating behaviour, intimidation, stalking, neglect, and economic deprivation as well as the effects of alcoholism and mental illness, which are often the triggers for domestic violence. Domestic violence usually forms a pattern of controlling or domineering behaviour and is present in all societies. Not all cases of domestic violence involve overt acts of physical violence. Sometime it can be hidden in a bullying and controlling environment. 

Is domestic violence prevalent only in certain cultures or classes?

No. Domestic violence is common in all cultures and classes of people. Although it is most commonly experienced by women, it is certainly not restricted to women only. Any person can experience domestic violence regardless of race, ethnic or religious background, class, wealth, disability or lifestyle. It can involve several family members and can also be directed toward children as well as adults. 


What is the official definition of domestic violence?

The law defines domestic violence as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.” 


 Why does it happen? 

For all sorts of reasons. It is usually always because of the abuser rather than the abused person, although it may not feel that way to the victim. Victims of domestic violence are often made to feel ‘at fault’ or responsible for the violence in some way. However; in an intimate relationship like marriage, the effects of domestic violence can be destructive and as well as affecting the immediate victim, these can also have a serious impact on other family members such as children. There is no reason why anybody should have to suffer domestic violence and the law is here to help in a very fast and effective way. Often abusers are very well behaved in public and many of their friends and relatives will be completely unaware of their abusive behaviour. Domestic Violence abusers will also very often try to shift the blame for their violence onto the victim, stripping the victim of self-confidence and self-esteem and always taking the upper hand in criticism. 

 


 What can I do about Domestic Violence? 

 

Plenty! It may come as a surprise to many victims of domestic violence but this is one area of the law where the courts take a no-nonsense approach to allegations of domestic violence and protection is available fast and it is very effective. All you need to do is decide that ‘enough is enough’! Once you have decided to seek the protection of the law, an urgent application can often be brought on your behalf by your lawyers to the courts, without the abuser being aware of the proceedings and, the courts will normally immediately issue a Non-Molestation Injunction providing immediate protection. Any further attempts at Domestic Violence after the issue of this injunction will be a criminal offence and the abuser will fast find themselves arrested, in a police cell and in deep trouble. Abusers who breach a nonmolestation Order can easily find themselves in prison. 

Although there is no single criminal offence called ‘domestic violence’, the acts that comprise domestic violence are very often criminal offences in themselves. For example, harassment, assault, criminal damage, physical violence, rape, false imprisonment, sexual abuse and threats or harassment. 

 


 

Domestic Violence – Help 

We are experts at dealing with sensitive and often disturbing cases of domestic violence. To help assess your entitlement to the protection of the court we offer a free initial telephone consultation with a specialist Domestic Violence Solicitor on 020 8401 7352. During that telephone consultation we will obtain some information from you about your particular circumstances and  we will be able to tell you whether the protection of the courts is available in your specific situation. We will also explain to you the procedure, processes and probable costs of the work you need us to conduct for you as well as the likely timescales involved. 

 


 

 

 

 


   

The Divorce Process

The Divorce Process

For a detailed analysis of the Divorce Process in England & Wales see our four part overview, below:

Part I: For details of how to Petition for a Divorce, see here

Part II: For details of the Acknowledgement of Service Form and Serving the Divorce Petition, see here

Part III: Obtaining the Decree Nisi of Divorce

Part IV: Obtaining the Decree Absolute of Divorce

Obtaining the Decree Absolute of Divorce

The Divorce Process – Part 4 of 4

Obtaining the Decree Absolute of Divorce

This is the final part in a Four part review of the divorce process entitled ‘Obtaining the Decree Absolute of Divorce’ 

Part I: For details of how to Petition for a Divorce, see here

Part II: For details of the Acknowledgement of Service Form and Serving the Divorce Petition, see here

Part III: Obtaining the Decree Nisi of Divorce

Part IV: Obtaining the Decree Absolute of Divorce

Overview:

The Decree Absolute is the final decree of divorce which ends the marriage. It must be applied for to be granted and will not be autimatically issued by the courts. Before it is granted the steps set out in the previous three articles must have been completed to the satisfaction of a District Judge. The application for a Decree Absolute of Divorce must be made on a special form which can be obtained from the court office. There is also a fee payable for the decree absolute. At the time of writing this article the fee is £45; however you should always check with the court office as court fees change often. Once the Decree Absolute of Divorce is granted, copies will be sent to all parties in the proceedings. The date the marriage comes to an end is the date which is on teh Decree Absolute of Divorce. Before this date the partiess were still legally married. Once the Decree Absolute is issued, both parties are free to re-marry.

The Petitioner can apply for a Decree Absolute six weeks after the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi of Divorce. However the Respondent cannot apply until 18 weeks after the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi of Divorce. If the respondent is applying, they will also need to swear an affidavit setting out the reasons why it is the Respondent applying for the Decree Absolute rather than the normal procedure, where the Petitioner applies.

Where there is a delay and neither party to the marriage applies for the Decree Absolute within twelve months after the decree nisi, then whomever is applying for the Decree Absolute will have to give a written explanation to the court, often by filing another affidavit, explaining the reasons for the delay, and confirming that no further children have been born to the parties.

Procedure:

The petitioner can apply for decree absolute anytime from 6 weeks from the date the decree nisi is pronounced. The court fee is currently £45 for this application. Where the Petitioner applies, the Decree Absolute is usually granted automatically at this stage. No further court hearings are required and the process is usually done by post only or by attendance at the court office and the payment of the applicable court fee. Where the petitioner does not apply for decree absolute, the respondent can apply. However; the Respondent cannot apply any earlier than 18 weeks from teh date of the pronouncement of the decree nisi of divorce.  Applications by the Respondent for a Decree Absolute are not automatically granted and will always be considered by a judge, first.

Where there is a delay of 12 months or longer from the pronouncement of the decree nisi of divorce to the application for a decree absolute, either party to the marriage can still apply for the decree absolute but they must satisfy the judge by way of an affidavit setting out the reasons for the delay, confirming that they have not been cohabiting with the other party to the marriage for any periods of six months or longer and confirming that no other children have been born, whether or not parented by both parties to the marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the Decree Absolute mean I am divorced?Yes, this is the final decree of the court in the marriage. Once granted, the parties are free to re-marry.Do I need to keep the Decree Absolute Certificate?Yes, this is an important legal docuemnt and you will need to present it if you plan to marry again. It is also often required for other purposes. If you lose it, you can obtain a replacement from the court for a fee.My Decree Absolute was granted and we agreed finances informally. My ex is backtracking on that agreement, can I apply for Ancillary Relief?

Probably – an application for Ancillary Relief can, in certain circumstances, still be brought after the marriage has been disolved. It depends on many factors, including whether you have remarried or are cohabiting with another person. You will need to seek professional legal advice about this from a Solicitor.

My ex and I have reconciled and want to stay together, can we cancel the Decree Absolute?

No,  the divorce is final. If you do wish to remain in a marriage with your ex, then you can remarry them again though.

Should you have any queries about your own personal circumstances, we offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation on 020 8401 7352. Contact us for guidance and advice relating to your particular circumstances. The information provided in this article is general information only and it is not intended that you should rely on this information as advice relating to your specific circumstances. Divorce is a potentially complex legal process and you should always ensure that you receive independent legal advice specific to your particular circumstances from a qualified adviser.

Obtaining the Decree Nisi of Divorce

The Divorce Process – Part 3 of 4

Obtaining the Decree Nisi or Divorce

This is the Third part in a Four part review of the divorce process entitled ‘Obtaining the Decree Nisi of Divorce’ 

Part I: For details of how to Petition for a Divorce, see here

Part II: For details of the Acknowledgement of Service Form and Serving the Divorce Petition, see here

Part III: Obtaining the Decree Nisi of Divorce

Part IV: Obtaining the Decree Absolute of Divorce

Once the Divorce Petition has been acknowledged by the Respondent, the court will then start the process toward pronouncing the decree nisi of divorce. The importance of the decree nisi is twofold. First it is the initial decree of your divorce. No divorce can be finalised before a decree nisi is pronounced first. Secondly, no financial settlement or Orders relating to the finances of the divorce can be made by the court until the decree nisi has first been pronounced. A decree nisi also indicates that you are well on the way to being divorced.

Overview & Procedure:

When the REspondent returns the Acknowledgement of Service form to the court, the court will forward a copy of this to the Petitioner. The Petitioner must then draft and swear an affidavit in support of the petition for divorce and they must also exhibit a copy of the acknowledgement of service form to their affidavit confirming that the signature of the Respondent appearing on the acknowledgement of service form is accurate and also confirming that the facts set out in the divorce petition have not changed materially. The affidavit needs to be sworn by the Petitioner in the presence of a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths. There is normally a fee of about £10 payable for this service. However; it can also be sworn at any county court office where there will not normally be a fee charged.

The Petitioners affidavit will be filed at the court where it will be reviewed by a District Judge. The judge will then decide whether the affidavit is acceptable and if so, will set the matter down in the Special Procedure List, for the pronouncement of the decree nisi of divorce. The date of that pronouncement will be advised to both the respondent and the petitioner. It is called the Special Procedure List because as a general rule there is no need for either of the parties to attend the court for that hearing. In the absence of any represnetations by either party at the Special Procedure List hearing, the court will simply pronounce the decree nisi of divorce and copies will be sent to the parties. However; where the Respondent objects to paying the costs of the divorce or wishes to make some other representations, then attendance at the Special Procedure List hearing is essential by them.

The Decree Nisi is the first Order made by the courts in relation to the divorce petition. It is a significant stage in the divorce and once it is pronounced then six weeks after the date of it’s pronouncement, the Petitioner can apply to the court for the Decree Absolute of Divorce. The Decree Absolute of Divorvce is the final Order of divorce and once obtained the marriage has been disolved and the marriage is at an end.

Also , the Decree Nisi is important because it is only after the pronouncement of the decree nisi that the Court can make any final orders concerning the financial aspects of the divorce. This applies even if the parties to the marriage have agreed the financial aspects of the divorce by way of a Consent Order. It is therefore important that the decree nisi is obtained first.

Once the decree nisi is obtained, the speed at which the divorce progresses to a Decree Absolute is very much in the hands of the Petitioner. This is because the Petitioner can apply, six weeks after the pronouncement of the decree nisi, for a final decree of divorce, being the Decree Absolute. However; the Respondent cannot apply for this until 18 weeks after the date the decree nisi is pronounced. This is one of the reasons why it is sometimes beneficial to be the Petitioner in divorce proceedings, because the Petitioner often has the lead when it comes to deciding the speed at which matters will proceed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does a Decree Nisi mean – does it mean I am divorced?Not quite yet. The Decree Nisi signifies that the court has accepted the grounds for divorce as well as the Respondents acknowledgement and the divorce can progress toward a final Order. You are divorced only when you receive the Decree Absolute of divorce. Before this, you cannot legally re-marry and there can be other consequences too, including your rights and entitlements in the event that your spouse or you die before the decree absolute of divorce.The court has pronounced my Decree Nisi – what do I do next?Before progressing the matter on to a final decree of divorce, this is an important stage to consider whether there are any issues in relation to the finances of the divorce that need to be resolved. If the financial aspects of the divorce are still unresolved then any application to the court in this regard needs to be filed now. Delay beyond this stage in addressing the financial aspects of the divorce can mean that one or both of the parties may well lose out on their entitlements. The financial aspects of the divorce are called Ancillary Relief proceedings.

Should you have any queries about your own personal circumstances, we offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation on 020 8401 7352. Contact us for guidance and advice relating to your particular circumstances. The information provided in this article is general information only and it is not intended that you should rely on this information as advice relating to your specific circumstances. Divorce is a potentially complex legal process and you should always ensure that you receive independent legal advice specific to your particular circumstances from a qualified adviser.

Call Mansouri & Son NOW



Children (7)
Criminal Law (4)
Divorce (32)
Divorce Grounds (28)
Immigration (180)
Injunctions (10)
Personal Information (5)
Prenuptial Agreements (5)
Solicitors Firm (144)
Unmarried Couples (8)
Wills (1)

WP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by Roy Tanck and Luke Morton requires Flash Player 9 or better.