FAQs

Divorce Questions

Q What are the government fees to start your divorce?

A. The present court fee to start a divorce is £550. That amount is the court fee that is sent to the court to start off your divorce. If you are on benefits or on a low income you may be exempt. Before you have to pay we will enquire if you may be eligible for a fee exemption or reduction.

Q How long do I need to be married before I can apply for a divorce? *
In England and Wales you must be married one year before you can commence a divorce.

Q What if my ex has moved away and I don't know their address?

A. Attempt to find out from family & friends. Alternatively, a tracing agent may be able to trace the party's whereabouts. If you are unsure of this don't guess as it will considerably delay your divorce. Contact us and we can arrange for a tracing agent to locate your partner.

Q. Will I need a copy of my marriage certificate?

A. Yes. You will have to give a copy to the court when you start your petition. It will be kept on the court file. The copy must not be a photocopy. If you do not have the original then we can obtain a certified copy for you. Contact us and we can arrange for a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

Q What if my ex has moved and I don't know where he is living?

A. Attempt to find out from family & friends. Alternatively, a tracing agent may be able to trace the party's whereabouts. (, link here to our Link 40 No address for serving missing spouse)

Q. As a ground for Divorce, can I cite my own adultery for a divorce?

A. No. However, if you are engaging in adultery, this is often a sign that the marriage is not working for other reasons so it may be that you should be considering the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Alternately, you could tell your spouse about your adultery and ask your spouse to divorce you.

Q. How long does the divorce process take?

A. The divorce process will take a between 4 and 5 months to complete. Some websites will tell you that they can do it in 3 months, or they have a "special court" that will do it quicker. Since 20 July 2015 the divorce courts have been centralised so that no court is now all divorces are started in the same court. With current backlogs and staging delays at the Family Court is now difficult to compare one court's speed with another with regard to commencing divorce proceeds. However once the divorce is underway it will be transferred out to the local court of the spouse who commenced the divorce. There are some exemptions for special cases where an urgent divorce needs to be started but good reason has to be given for this.

Q. Does my husband/wife have to agree to the Divorce?

A. If you chose the ground of Divorce : 2 years separation and consent" then the answer is yes. However with the other grounds the answer is No. However a divorce can still be contested or considerably delayed using various tactics. But whatever the other side on your divorce decide you can be assured that we at internetdivorce.co.uk will be available to help you.

Q What if I was married Abroad?

A. You can still get divorced so long as you now live in England or Wales. However if your marriage certificate is in another language, then you will need to get a translation from a certified translator. Should you need this service please ask or select and purchase this service and we can arrange it for you.

Q. What sort of thing should I say in my petition about telling the court why I want a divorce?

A. There is one ground for divorce and that is called irretrievable breakdown. How the court decides if in your case there is an irretrievable breakdown, it has to be fitted into one of the five different grounds, which are:

• Adultery - that your husband or wife has committed adultery and that you find it intolerable to live with him or her.
• Unreasonable behaviour - that your husband or wife's behaviour has been so bad that you can no longer bear to live with them.
• Desertion - that your husband or wife deserted you at least two years ago.
• Two year separation with consent - that you and your husband or wife have lived apart for at least two years and he or she agrees to a divorce.
• Five year separation without consent - that you and your husband or wife have lived apart for at least five

Q. How long do I have to wait before I can apply for the Decree Nisi to be made absolute?

A. You must wait 6 weeks and one day after and then you may apply for the decree absolute.

Q What if my ex has moved away and I don't know their address?

A. Attempt to find out from family & friends. Alternatively, we can arrange for a tracing agent may be able to trace the party's whereabouts. Please ask, or select this service from our drop down menu under our "Divorce Add-on Services".

Q. Will I need a copy of my marriage certificate?

A. Yes. You will have to give a copy to the court when you start your petition. It will be kept on the court file. The copy must not be a photocopy. If you do not have the original then we can obtain a certified copy for you. lease ask, or select this service from our drop down menu under "Divorce add-on Services".

Q. What if my spouse refuses or just does not return the acknowledgement of service form?

A. If your spouse does not return the papers the judge will have no proof that your spouse has seen the papers. So in such a situation the judge will need proof that your spouse has received the papers before your divorce can move on to the next stage. One type of proof that the judge will accept is a sworn affidavit from an independent person that they have personally served the divorce papers on your spouse. Armed with such a sworn statement the judge can then confidently proceed and grant your divorce knowing that your spouse has seen the divorce petition. If in your case this happens we will contact you about this and in some cases will provide options on the way forward.

Q Can I serve my divorce petition on my spouse myself?

A. Unfortunately not. The judge will not accept service of papers by one spouse on another. It can only be given to them by someone independent from you such as the postman, the bailiff, or if necessary a process server.

Q What if I am on low income or unemployed; will I still have to pay the Court Fee of £550?

A. You could be exempt. Please mention this at the time of your interview and we will send you a fee exemption form to provide evidence of your means. The court staff will then make an assessment as to whether you qualify.

Q. What if my husband/wife lives abroad; can I still start a divorce at my local Court?

A. Yes, so long as at least one of you is either living here in England or Wales, or has been resident in England and Wales for at least a year.

Divorce Finance Questions

Q Will my ex have to pay a higher amount if they committed adultery?

A. It will make no difference, so no. Behaviour of this nature will not affect how the Court decides who gets more than the other. The judges often view this behaviour as a symptom of a broken relationship rather than as the cause of a relationship breakdown. Of course, should you ex partner then goes on to move in with their new partner, then this can affect things. To effect the financial settlement, the behaviour by the misbehaving partner will have to be such behaviour as to have a financial impact, such as clearing out a joint account, going on a spending spree, hiding assets, or doing something which tries to defeat the reasonable financial claim of the other partner. In fact financial settlements reached can be set aside if it later shown that on partner deliberately hid assets from their partner in order to gain a more advantageous settlement.
Sometimes however, with a clever diplomacy, you can use bad behaviour to gain some advantage or influence in the settlement negotiations if you know that your ex feels morally embarrassed or guilty about their past bad behaviour for example adultery.

Q How much money will my ex be ordered to pay me?

A: In most cases, there is only enough money in the pot for just the one home, so the parent who is left with the child or children will usually get to live in the matrimonial home - (but not always) that is the woman. The partner who earns more (usually the male) will often complain about this because they will also be asked to pay child maintenance, and often spousal maintenance so as to reduce hardship to the woman in the case where the man is earning more than the woman. However a key area of dispute today involves setting the length of time that spousal maintenance should continue for. "Term Orders" (as they care called) are often raised and challenged in this important dispute area concerning how long spousal maintenance should continue for. This is something a good solicitor should be able to help with.

Q. If you think that divorce is inevitable, when should you be concerned?

A: If your credit card closes down, this is very concerning if it was done by your partner. If you see money moving out of the joint account, you should be very suspicious. If you see that your partner has started building up savings in an account that you did not know of, or has acquired assets that you did not know about, you need to make an urgent appointment to see your solicitor.

*Q. Do I have to agree our financial matters with my spouse before we start divorce proceedings?

A. No. You can simply start your divorce and we can resolve this while your divorce is going through with the divorce process.

Q. Does it make any difference if one or both of us are not UK nationals?

A. No. Provided at least one of you is habitually resident in England and Wales, then you can divorce here in England or Wales.

Q. Does it make any difference if either of us is living abroad?

A. No, provided the other is habitually resident here.

Q. If my spouse commits adultery after we separated is it still adultery?

A. Yes. A Separation is not a divorce. You remain married until you get the Divorce Decree is issued by the Court. So it can still be used as a ground for divorce.

Q. Can I still use the ground of adultery for my divorce even if we are still living together?

A. Yes, but only if you have not lived together for more than six months.

Q. I want to use the divorce ground of 2 years separation and consent. Do I need to get my wife/husband's consent before I start the divorce action?

A. No, but your spouse will be given an opportunity to consent on the tick box form when they receive the papers from the court. Therefore if they don't consent then this will cause a problem going forward.

Q. If I go for solicitor managed divorce with you to prepare the divorce papers, how long will it be until you return my completed divorce petition be delivered to me?

A. within 48 hours of taking instructions from you over the phone your divorce papers will be emailed to you to approve, or if postal delivery is requested, then within 3 days.

Children Questions

Q: My partner has a child by a different man. Will I be expected to pay toward their maintenance?

A: The partners of either parent will not be expected to pay towards the maintenance of any children who are not theirs.

Q. What if my ex is stopping me seeing my children?

A. Even in the most civilised of cases, Divorce can have a extremely unfavourable impact on children. It is all too easy for children to be used as pawns by one party in the divorce process so it important that their interests are prioritised. It is important to remember that it is the child's right to see their parents, providing that contact is not used against the other parent. We believe that stressful court proceedings or threatening solicitor correspondence can be detrimental in the long term should only be used as a last resort. We prefer to move forward by first offering contact arrangements by way of correspondence, and in the event that this does not produce results or alternately contact breaks down, then we recommend mediation and arranging mediation is our choice going forward, so that co-operation and collaboration is a better choice to promote long term relationships from the start of promotes understanding of both side's views and of the children's views rather than an agreement that is imposed by the court. Ultimately of course, in some cases a Court Order can be necessary and this is something we are able to arrange.

Q Why do Women always get custody of the children?

A. Family Courts policy in these matters is always to decide what is in the best interests of the children. However there are many examples of the husband getting custody of the children so it cannot really be said that they Courts always give the children to the woman. Each case is different and it simply depends on the circumstances of each individual situation. Good legal advice should be sought in advance.

Q. Do I have to agree contact arrangements for the children before divorce proceedings?

A. No. Like with the financial matters, you do not need to. It can be resolved whilst the divorce is on-going.


About Us

Q. Who are internetdivorce?

A. Internetdivorce is a trading name of Paul Norton & Co. Solicitors.

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A. All cases are supervised by a qualified Solicitor assisted if necessary by a qualified paralegal. Paul Norton & Co. do not employ unqualified staff to handle our client's transactions. In all cases you will be sent a letter introducing who is acting for you and their contact details will be sent by post and email.

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