Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

How does the divorce process work?

First it must be established that the Courts in England and Wales have jurisdiction to deal with the case. This is determined by where the parties live (or possibly originate from). 

The second requirement is that a couple must have been married for at least 12 months. The third requirement is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down on the basis of one of these five facts:        

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years’ separation (with the other party’s consent)
  • Five years’ separation (the other party’s consent not being required)


The person who has committed adultery cannot issue a Petition on that basis - the other party must do so. It is not necessary to name the third party involved and, indeed, the Court discourages this. 

What is “unreasonable behaviour”?

This wide-ranging option can cover many problems, for example: violence, mismanagement of finances, lack of companionship or emotional support.

Separated for some time?

A couple who have been separated for some time may choose to pursue either a two year or five year separation divorce (as appropriate).  

Do I have to attend Court?

It is not usually necessary for either party to attend Court in person.  Side issues such as finances and disputes regarding children can require Court attendance but the divorce itself is normally dealt with by post. 

How long does a divorce take?

An uncontested divorce should generally be concluded within four to six months, although each case varies. 

How much does it cost?

Spratt Endicott’s initial Fixed Fee Appointment costs only £80 and helps you consider your next steps informally and confidentially, with no commitment to take matters further until and unless you wish to do so. Spratt Endicott offers a fully-managed service to guide you through the dissolution of your marriage and provide you with as much or as little legal support as you may require.

What about the finances?

Within any divorce, securing an Order relating to the financial aspects is vital.  This can be achieved by agreement or result from contested proceedings.  Until that point even pronouncement of a Decree Absolute will not sever financial ties between the parties. 

Why should I seek legal advice?

Although many people feel confident starting to handle divorce proceedings themselves, things can quickly become complicated or difficult, meaning it is normally prudent to seek legal advice. With our training and expertise you can feel confident that you are receiving the best advice before you do anything.

Getting in Touch

For more information please email Patrick Mulcare pmulcare@se-law.co.uk or ​Gemma Davison gdavison@se-law.co.uk. Alternatively you can contact us by telephone on 01295 204000.