The process usually takes around 6 months, but it is usual not to finalise the divorce until a financial agreement has been reached. Wherever possible we shall try and agree the wording of the divorce petition with your spouse to enable the divorce to move forward without delay and avoid unnecessary acrimony. We will advise you on costs and procedure and will advise further once decree absolute has been pronounced.
The legal formality for getting a divorce is a relatively straight forward process. What is generally less straight forward is sorting out the practical issues, such as where each party will live, how the assets are to be split, and arrangements for any children. Before agreeing matters with your husband or wife, it is wise to seek our advice about your rights and the options available to you.
We will advise you on costs and agree our fees openly with you.
This is a complex area of the law and requires expert advice. Please contact us on 0203 733 0428 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an initial consultation to discuss the best way forward for you and we will provide you with further and specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Our experienced and understanding team are here to help you.
We will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.
A comprehensive list of legal terms used by Rose & Rose for our Divorce and Family Services.
Acknowledgement of Service
The form which the respondent to a divorce/dissolution petition must send to the court, completed and signed, within 8 days of service of the divorce petition. The respondent must confirm whether or not he or she consents to the proceedings or wishes to defend the petition.
Fact upon which party may rely to prove in divorce proceedings that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex.
An advocate representing a party at court hearings, and who may be required to provide written advice or advise in conference
Fact upon which party may rely to prove in divorce/dissolution proceedings that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
The Court and Family Court Advisory Service.
Child Arrangements Order
An order under s8 Children Act 1989 determining with whom a child shall live and when the child will see the non-resident parent.
Child Maintenance Service
The organisation dealing with the assessment and enforcement of child maintenance payments from the non-resident parent
Children Act 1989
The statute setting out the law in respect of children matters.
The same-sex equivalent of marriage.
A financial arrangement where no monthly maintenance is payable between the parties.
An agreement setting out the financial arrangements between non-married partners.
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution where the parties can attempt to settle financial matters through a series of round table meetings with their respective solicitors.
An agreement reached between divorcing parties in respect of financial arrangements, sent to the court for the approval of a District Judge after the pronouncement of Decree Nisi in the divorce
The Decree Absolute certifies that the marriage is dissolved and leaves both parties free to remarry in the future.
Also known as the conditional divorce order, the Decree Nisi is an order which certifies that the petitioner has sufficiently proved the content of the divorce petition and is entitled to a divorce.
Fact upon which party may rely to prove in divorce proceedings that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
The process by which the terms of an order of the court can be implemented following breach of those terms by the other party.
Fact finding hearing
A ‘mini’ trial of issues where one or both parties have made allegations of domestic violence.
Family Law Act 1996
The statute setting out the law in respect of injunctive relief from domestic violence.
Family Proceedings Court (FPC)
This is an alternative venue to the County Court where matters are usually heard by a bench of Magistrates and a Legal Advisor instead of a Judge. However, a District Judge can hear matters within the Family Proceedings Court.
This is a trial of the matter concerned whereby a Judge (or Magistrates in the FPC) will consider the documents as well as oral evidence from all concerned before making a determination of the matter by way of a court order.
Remedies that the court can order in respect of remedies finances including property sales and transfers, lump sum payments, pension sharing orders, and periodical payments
Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing
The second hearing in financial proceedings where a Judge will consider both parties’ positions on a without prejudice basis and give indications and guidance as to a ‘fair’ outcome. It is important to note that around 80% of cases settle at this stage
The first court hearing following an application for a financial order which is generally used to establish directions as to how the matter can be progressed
First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment
Usually the first hearing in Children Act proceedings where the parties see both a mediation professional and a Judge in order to ascertain whether an agreement can be reached without the need of further proceedings.
Five years’ separation
Fact upon which party may rely to prove in divorce proceedings that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
Form used to apply to the court for a financial order
Form used by a party to disclose their financial position, either on a voluntary basis or following an application for a financial order on Form A
An order stopping any release or transferring of a party’s (or parties’) assets
This is a concept of land ownership in England and Wales whereby up to [four]people can own land jointly. The difference between a joint tenancy and tenancy in common is the doctrine of ‘survivorship’ which automatically transfers a share upon its owner’s death to the survivors thus preventing the leaving of land to any third party.
An alternative to divorce – a decree of Judicial Separation can be granted on the basis of any of the five facts used in divorce, but there is no requirement to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The parties remain married but the decree brings formality to the separation so that the parties can pursue their own lives. In relation to a civil partnership, a separation order is available.
Leave to remove
An application to the court by a resident parent to permanently remove a child from the jurisdiction in the absence of consent from other parties with parental responsibility
Legal services order
An order available to parties to a divorce/civil partnership dissolution that allows either party to apply for their legal fees to be paid by the other.
Lump sum order
An order of the court that one party pays the other a specific sum of money at a specific time
Maintenance Pending Suit
An application for MPS is made for maintenance on an interim basis, after the issuing of the divorce petition, but before the court ordinarily deals with the entirety of the financial issues. An application is often made when the applicant cannot get by financially before the matter is concluded
Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
The statute setting out the law in respect of divorce and financial orders
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution that promotes a direct dialogue between the parties. Often, mediation involves the parties without legal representation but with a trained mediator who will assist both parties’ equally in reaching a settlement.
A remedy available under the Family Law Act 1996 whereby the respondent is ordered not to harass, intimidate or use violence against the applicant
A declaration that, in effect, cancels a marriage or civil partnership. This is different to a divorce/dissolution that ends a valid union.
A remedy available under the Family Law Act 1996 whereby the respondent is ordered to leave the property he shares with the applicant, stay away from that property, or occupy only certain areas of that property
Parental Responsibility is defined by the Children Act 1989 as being all the rights, duties, powers and responsibility which a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his or her property. It includes rights and duties with regard to education, choice of religion, administration of a child’s property and choice of residence
A sanction provided by the court normally following the non-compliance of a court direction. The penal notice offers a ‘final chance’ to undertake the necessary action or the defaulting party could be found to be in contempt of court.
Pension attachment order
An order earmarking a proportion of the income, lump sum or death benefit of a pension without transferring part of the pension to another party.
Pension sharing order
An order of the court that one party’s pension fund should be shared with the other following pronouncement of Decree Absolute
An order requiring one party to pay another party a sum of money, usually on a monthly basis, until a further date. Payments such as these can be for the benefit of the receiving party, a child, or both.
This is an administrative hearing whereby the court ensures that the case is ready to proceed to a full trial.
Prohibited steps order
An order preventing an issue concerning a child in its best interests (e.g. removal from the jurisdiction etc)
Property adjustment order (order for sale)
An order amending or transferring the ownership of land in divorce and dissolution cases. It is important to note that the court also has the jurisdiction to order that land is sold.
An organisation of family law specialists who have signed a code of conduct placing a greater emphasis on non-confrontational dispute resolution and putting the needs of children first (www.resolution.org.uk).
Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989
Statutory provisions which allow applications for financial relief for the benefit of their child or children such as lump sums, property adjustment orders, maintenance etc.
The main criteria under which the court considers a ‘fair’ settlement of marital property.
A written agreement between two parties (whether or not married or in a civil partnership) confirming, in writing, the details of their separation. It is important to note that a separation agreement is only enforceable as a contract between the parties and can be overridden by the family courts in the case of divorces/dissolutions.
Special Guardianship Order
An order granting a person parental responsibility of a child but, unlike adoption, preserving the child’s legal link to their parents. Such orders are common with stepparents and grandparents.
Specific issue order
An order imposing a positive obligation upon a child in its best interests (e.g. school selection, religious upbringing, holidays etc)
Spousal maintenance (term)
An order that one party pays monthly periodical payments to the other until a fixed point in time.
Statement of truth
A statement found at the end of most court documents confirming that the contents are true and accurate. Penalties for breach of a statement of truth range from contempt of court to prosecution under the Fraud Act
Tenancy in common
As opposed to joint tenants, any owner of land under a tenancy in common can leave their share to a third party
Two years’ separation
Fact upon which party may rely to prove in divorce proceedings that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The petitioner must have the consent of the respondent
A formal and written promise to another party or to the court that is enforceable
An application to the court to vary the provisions of an existing court order. Most usually, provisions regarding maintenance are the subject of variation applications
A marriage which can be annulled due to the fact it was illegal or invalid at the time of the ceremony (e.g. one party was already married at the time)
A marriage which can be annulled due to the marriage being defective (e.g. non-consummation of the marriage or one party did not validly consent to the marriage)
Rose & Rose have experienced people with expertise covering many different aspects of law and providing a personal approach and service. Our services list gives more details of these. One of our dedicated experts is only a call or email away and we are here to help.