Getting divorced? Contact Middlesbrough Solicitor Paul J Watson for assistance.

We appreciate that this process can be daunting and quite understandably causes some distress and anxiety, that is why it is important that you are guided and assisted through it.

There are stages which must be completed before a marriage is dissolved, we hope that this guide will give you a general overview of the process.

There is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This will then need to be proved by one of the five facts, namely:- adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years separation with consent and five years separation without consent. You must have been married for a year before you can bring a petition for divorce.

The divorce petition is drafted and forwarded to the Court together with the Court fee of £410.00, your original marriage certificate. The petition is then issued and given a matter number in order to assist the Court in identifying the matter when enquiries are made.

The Court then forwards the petition to your husband/wife and they will be given seven days from receiving the papers to acknowledge service. Your husband/wife will need to complete and return the Acknowledgement of Service to the Court.

Please note that if your husband/wife wishes to defend the petition, they must do so within 28 days of receiving the divorce petition.

The Court will forward a copy of the Acknowledgement of Service to you or your Solicitor and then Statement in Support will be prepared on your behalf which confirms the contents of the divorce petition.

The Affidavit is then filed at Court together with a request for a date for the pronouncement of the Conditional Order (Decree Nisi) which is the first stage of obtaining the divorce.

After the pronouncement of the Conditional Order (Decree Nisi), there is, in accordance with the law a minimum of six weeks from the date of the Conditional Order for the marriage to be dissolved by the pronouncement of the Final Order (Decree Absolute). The same principle applies to the dissolution of Civil Partnerships.

You may be eligible for Legal Help to assist with your divorce and you may also apply for a fee remission or fee exemption in respect of the Court fees but this is also subject to eligibility.

If we can be of assistance to you, please contact our Divorce Solicitors, who will be happy to help.