When you’re heading towards the church or a registry office in a beautiful white dress, surrounded by family, the last thing on your mind would be that your marriage can end in divorce.

Since April 2022, the procedure of getting divorced in the UK has changed. It is now popular for people to pursue what is known as a no-fault divorce, which will quicken the divorce proceedings and seek an amicable or fair conclusion, free of spite or bitterness.

When you come to Prentice Family Law, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge will always be happy to guide you through the divorce process and answer any questions you have in jargon-free language so that you understand the procedure, the paperwork, and what to anticipate.

In this article, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge have answered five of the most common questions that we receive about divorces in the UK, so read on to learn more about this legal separation process.

How does a divorce start?

Divorce is made up of 3 core stages, which are divorce or legal separation, an agreement being made on financial arrangements and the legal and financial arrangements for any children. As previously stated, divorce law has been redefined since April 2022, and now, during your first meeting with our divorce solicitors in Weybridge, we will need to look at some of the factors that led to your divorce, including reconciliation, potential disagreement resolution, and whether there is evidence of domestic abuse. Divorce starts when the applicant (who was previously known as the petitioner) sends off divorce papers to the court.

How long does it take?

When the application has been submitted, respondents will be asked to return a form to the court, which acknowledges that the divorce is going ahead. There is then a mandatory cooling-off period of around 20 weeks, so on average, a divorce in the UK under the new ruling will take roughly 26 weeks to complete.

Does it matter who caused the divorce?

Thanks to the new law, the cause will have no impact on the outcome of the divorce, as the arrangement will focus on any assets you share and your children. But if either you or your spouse has been guilty of unreasonable behaviour, such as domestic violence, this may have consequences and will need to be discussed with the police and criminal solicitors.

How long do I need to have been married to get a divorce?

Under the new law, you need to have been married for at least one year before you can apply for a divorce. Of course, if your marriage breaks down before this, you can separate and live apart.

Is counselling expected?

Yes, even under the new law, you will be expected to consider mediation or counselling before starting the court proceedings. But note that it is only expected and not legally required, so you can divorce your former spouse without attending counselling services or interventions. However, you may want to try this as it does have some advantages.