If you are beginning the process of divorce, you may feel overwhelmed and intimidated by what is ahead.

While it is a common procedure in the UK, unless you have already been through a divorce, it is unlikely that you will know what to expect and so, it is wise to seek legal advice and representation as early as possible.

Many people attempt to avoid seeking legal advocacy, however, as they worry about the costs involved. Remember that divorce law in the UK is complex and without an experienced hand to guide you through it, the process is likely to be more expensive and more time-consuming. And at a time of high stress, such as divorcing your former spouse, these are the last things you need.

At Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Guildford can help make the divorce process as stress free as possible. We will endeavour to reduce associated fees and ensure that the process is as fast as conceivable, to avoid adding additional pressure. We are also trained in being sensitive and will always put your wellbeing at the forefront of everything we do.

But what does a typical divorce case in the UK look like? Our divorce solicitors in Guildford have provided the following simplistic guide to divorce.


The first step in the divorce process is to file a petition with a family court explaining why you want your marriage to legally end.

If you are filing the divorce, you are known as the petitioner and your former spouse is the responder. Grounds for divorce in the UK include adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, living apart for 2 years (with consent to divorce), or living apart for 5 years (without consent for divorce). Our divorce solicitors in Guildford can help you with this step as the paperwork can be quite emotive.

Send petition

Your former spouse needs to respond to your petition with an ‘acknowledgment of service’. If your former partner does not agree to the divorce, the process will not be halted.

Apply for decree nisi

If your former spouse does not contest your reasons for divorce, then you will be granted a decree nisi. If they do contest the reasons for divorce, our team will help you to apply for a decree nisi, but you may have to attend a court case in order for your divorce case to be heard. This can take up to 3 months, so patience is warranted at this stage!

Apply for decree absolute

Once you have a decree absolute, your marriage has legally ended in the eyes of the law and you are free to remarry.

While it may be tempting to begin planning for a new wedding before you receive the decree absolute, our team at Prentice Family Law will advise against it. Remember, that court delays are common and your former spouse could extend this process by introducing grievances, so it is wise to wait until the decree absolute has been granted to begin planning a new wedding.