Marry in haste, repent at leisure? With Oratto's member divorce solicitors by your side you can be sure that your divorce proceedings will be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

The breakdown of a marriage can be difficult and traumatic, and divorce can be a tough thing to have to go through. There are often multiple issues to be dealt with that need to be handled sensitively. Professional representation is a must, and Oratto member divorce solicitors have the experience to be able to offer the solutions to your problems.

Can I get divorced at any time?

Divorce proceedings can only be started if you have been married for at least one year. If the marriage has lasted less than a year then it's possible to have it annulled. However the process for proving annulment is complicated and very difficult, so it's rare that this is sought.

What are the ‘five facts' of divorce?

For a divorce to be granted, the petitioner must prove to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is done by proving one of the five facts (or grounds) below:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion for two years or more by the respondent (other spouse)
  • Separation for two years or more and the respondent consents to the divorce
  • Separation for five years or more

The road to divorce is not always easy; however, the right family law solicitor will listen to your situation and circumstances, then give advice completely tailored to you. Years of working in this sector means that Oratto member divorce lawyers are fully briefed on all the practical problems that you might face as a result of separation and divorce, and they are completely sympathetic to the emotional distress as well.

How will my divorce proceed?

Oratto member divorce lawyers have the necessary skills to guide you through any tricky situations or decisions arising from relationship breakdown. For example, if a marriage has ended as a result of the respondent's behaviour, you can ask for the respondent to make a contribution towards your costs. A divorce solicitor will be able to advise you on whether this is appropriate in your situation.

No two divorce proceedings will be the same, but they typically follow the same stages.

You may wish to have a period of negotiation with your spouse, in an attempt to agree some of the terms of the divorce. This will help the proceedings to run smoothly. However, if this is impossible, the petitioner can go ahead and draft the divorce petition, and the court will serve it upon the respondent (the other spouse).

What is a divorce petition?

A divorce petition is the form which initiates the divorce process in England and Wales. The official form is a D8 – and often the divorce petition is referred to as the D8. The petition is completed by the petitioner or their solicitor, and submitted to the nearest Regional Divorce Centre for processing.

To complete the divorce petition form, the petitioner will need either the original marriage certificate or a certified copy of the original. The purpose of the petition is to confirm the fact upon which it has been issued, i.e. to prove why the marriage has broken down.

As the petitioner, you must have supporting details for what you are alleging. For example, if a divorce is being petitioned for on the ground of adultery, then the petitioner will need to provide dates and places where this took place. If separation is cited, the petitioner will need to include the date of separation and some details about why this happened.

Upon completion, the petition, along with a statement of arrangements for children if applicable, may be sent to the other party for approval, prior to being lodged with the court for issue.

Once an acknowledgement of service has been filed, then you can apply for the Decree Nisi. For this to be granted, the petitioner must swear an affidavit (sworn statement) that the facts laid out in the petition are true. Subsequent to that, a certificate of entitlement to a decree is given.

The earliest that a Decree Absolute can be applied for is six weeks and one day after the Decree Nisi is granted. The Decree Absolute is the final stage of divorce and once this is granted, the marriage is officially dissolved.

As simple as that?

Whilst some spouses may see the conclusion of divorce proceedings as a cause for celebration, there will be an equal number who do not. Our Oratto member divorce solicitors are well aware that divorce can often be a confusing, emotional and stressful time; especially when there are children involved. And while the granting of a Decree Absolute may have released the parties from the legal responsibilities of marriage, the finances may well not yet be settled. Your divorce solicitor will be there to see you through this aspect of divorce as well.

We can give you the simple guarantee that when you come to Oratto we will strive to ensure the people we connect you with will handle your divorce, and the financial settlement on divorce, with the maximum efficiency, compassion and understanding.

Divorce solicitors often do not simply fulfil a legal function. When you reveal the details of your life to the extent required for divorce, it's sometimes inevitable that a bond will be formed with your lawyer. At Oratto we can connect you instantly with a divorce solicitor who won't just be your legal advisor – they will also be someone to confide in, someone who knows what you are going through and can shoulder some of the stress of the divorce process.

So don't worry about whether your situation is straightforward or complex. It doesn't matter, Oratto can put you in touch with a lawyer who can help and advise you whatever the circumstances – and who will always have a box of tissues handy!

Oratto member lawyers – helping to make divorce easier