Divorce Process

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On the breakdown of a marriage we will guide you through the divorce process, financial arrangements and any issues relating to your children.

The only ground for divorce in England and Wales is that “the marriage has broken down irretrievably”.  When applying for a divorce, you must “prove” this irretrievable breakdown with evidence of one of the five following facts:

  • Adultery - following which you find it intolerable to live with your partner;
  • Behaviour - following which you cannot reasonably be expected to live with your partner;
  • Two years’ separation and your partner consents to the petition on this basis;
  • Five years’ separation (no consent is needed); or
  • Desertion.

The mechanics of obtaining a divorce are usually quite straightforward, particularly if you both agree that the marriage or civil partnership is over. Difficulties tend to arise resolving the practical issues such as the manner and timing of the physical separation, the arrangements for children and finances.

There is a myth that we have “no fault” divorce in England.  Unless you have been separated for at least two years, fault has to feature in a divorce petition. The only way to start divorce proceedings immediately is to base your petition on one of the two fault-based grounds, either adultery or behaviour.

Another myth is the “quickie” divorce.  Even an adultery or behaviour petition can take up to 6 months and decree absolute (the final order of divorce) is often delayed until after all financial issues have been resolved.  We will guide you through the process, timescales and costs involved. 

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Legal 500 UK

"Professional yet sympathetic manner and the team always fights hard to defend your interests"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

 

If you require further information or advice from our team of specialist family lawyers, please contact a member of our team or call us on +44 (0)20 7814 1200.

"They made a very difficult time much easier to deal with. Their professionalism kept me sane and focused on the outcome I needed"

Client

"It's a team that has a great breadth of experience across the board and particularly in international cases"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"All have been excellent and have shown great diligence and practicality, along with sensitivity during a very difficult time in my life"

Client

"Rolls-Royce service and particularly good when there's a European element to the case"

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

"A standout firm"

Legal 500 UK

Divorce Process Insights

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News

Out of court - Jane Keir shares her views on remote justice in Spear's Magazine

Valuing your business for divorce proceedings during the uncertainty of COVID - Connie Atkinson writes for Business Matters

Lawyer in the news - Jane Keir featured in The Law Society Gazette

When solicitors divorce - Connie Atkinson writes for The Law Society Gazette

Everything you need to know before getting a divorce - Jane Keir quoted in Good Housekeeping

Divorce Day - Jane Keir comments in Mail on Sunday’s This is Money section about ways to reduce the costs of a marriage break-up

How to have a happy divorce according to the UK’s top lawyers – Connie Atkinson shares her advice in The Sunday Times

Wives are the losers as Brexit derails the Eurostar divorce dash - Stacey Nevin quoted in The Times

Managing divorce in the shadow of criminal proceedings - Alexandra Bishop and Nick Dent write for The Review

Jane Keir ranked in Citywealth's top 10 Family & Matrimonial Lawyers

Wife loses fight for right to divorce

Stacey Nevin comments on landmark Supreme Court judgment

Lawyer in the news: Connie Atkinson featured in Law Society Gazette

Court ruling deals another blow to "meal ticket for life" - Charlotte Bradley writes for WealthBriefing

Russell Crowe’s divorce auction shows why ‘stuff’ matters - Michael Rowlands writes for Spear's

Sital Fontenelle joins Kingsley Napley's Family & Divorce team

Rachel Freeman joins Kingsley Napley's family & divorce team

Local family lawyers travel to Parliament to call for No Fault Divorce

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Blogs

Resolving family disputes through mediation, arbitration and private FDRs during the coronavirus crisis

Navigating relationships through the coronavirus crisis

COVID-19 and self-isolation: what to do when the danger is at home

Reflections on The Split – S2, E6: …and that’s a wrap

Reflections on The Split – S2, E5: Sex tapes, bugging and workplace relationships

The disclosure of law firm partnership capital and income in divorce proceedings

The ripple effect: the family law consequences of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace

The financial consequences of relying on sole domicile in your divorce petition

Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill – what it means and where it is at now

Practical tips and legal issues to consider when separating from your spouse or partner

‘It takes a lot to persuade a judge to send someone to jail’ – an expert opinion on the Al Zawawi divorce

Brexit and the race to divorce courts

Divorce in England and Dubai: quick, quick, slow?

Islamic marriages – are you really married under English law?

The criminal offence of controlling and coercive behaviour: avoiding the potential pitfalls in family proceedings

Owens v Owens: a blow for ‘no fault’ divorce

What happens if a pension sharing order is not passed on after divorce?

Reflections on The Split - Episode 6 – The grand finale…

Reflections on The Split – Episode 5: Affairs, betrayals and the personal nature of divorce

Less hide, more seek - divorce and financial transparency

Reflections on The Split – Episode 3: Behaving badly

Reflections on The Split - Episode 1

Divorce and maintenance orders: Waggott v Waggott signals the end of ‘a meal ticket for life’

Russell Crowe and the divorce auction - stuff matters

Domestic abuse and controlling & coercive behaviour in an intimate or familial relationship

Skin In The Game – how to get a divorce lawyer invested in you and your case

Top tips for “silver splitters" and those remarrying in later years

How to save money on divorce and build your best case

Divorce – how narcissists are tackled by the Family Courts in England and Dubai

Coercive control and its effect on family court cases

Children, divorce, narcissism and parental alienation - the perfect storm

Whose fault is it anyway? A French perspective on divorce by mutual consent and no fault divorce

Show me the money – key differences between French and English financial order applications in divorce proceedings

Adultery, blame and divorce - the end is nigh?

Divorce and coercive & controlling behaviour - Harassment’s big brother?

Donald Trump divorce – real or fake news when valuing a family business on divorce?

Reconciliation Contracts – an alternative to divorce?

Brexit and cross-border divorces: Judicial co-operation and the special partnership

Anglo French divorces – making the right choice about where to divorce

Present and future laws on prenuptial agreements – will they or won’t they stand up in court?

Brexit report on justice for families, individuals and businesses – the family law challenges ahead

No fault divorce – taking the blame out of divorce to reduce conflict and litigation

Comparing family law in Australia v England and Wales – a world apart in more ways than one

Delay in making a decree absolute — an exception rather than the rule

Divorce and summertime blues in the UAE

What happens to a divorce settlement if a spouse dies during or after divorce proceedings?

Divorce in the digital age - avoiding the pitfalls of social media

Moving counties or countries with children after separation - where to now?

EU referendum - implications for international families and family laws if the UK leaves the EU

Getting divorced - what the non-dom changes mean for you

Doughnut or double - bankers’ bonuses and spousal maintenance

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