Divorce – When and How?

In the UK a divorce can only be granted after at least one year of marriage and once it has been proved that the relationship has reached the point of “irretrievable breakdown”. The main stages are as follows:

  1. Find valid grounds for divorce

To file for divorce your marriage must have irretrievably broken down due to one of the five area described further down.

  1. File the divorce petition

An initial application for court permission to divorce. Reasons need to be provided as to how the relationship has broken down.

  1. Acknowledgement of Service

If the submitted paperwork is correct you will receive a stamped copy of your application from the Court and a unique case number.

  1. Apply for a decree nisi

If your partner co-operates and agrees with the divorce petition, you will receive a decree nisi, which confirms there is no reason why you cannot divorce.

  1. Apply for a decree absolute

You  will have to wait six weeks after the decree nisi is pronounced before you can apply for a decree absolute, which legally ends the marriage.

To show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down you will need to prove one of the following things:

  • adultery
  • your partner has behaved unreasonably
  • your partner deserted you at least two years ago
  • you’ve lived apart for at least two years (with the consent of the other party)
  • you’ve lived apart for at least five years (no consent required)

How do I start the Divorce Process?

Initially we would recommend you contact us for a chat. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so what suits you may not suit someone else. Our friendly and compassionate team will explain the whole process and all your options.

rhw solicitors have a knowledgeable and compassionate team of Family lawyers that will help advise and assist you during the difficult process.

Who to speak to?

e-mail the team at family@rhw.co.uk or call rhw divorce solicitors in Guildford on 01483 302000

Want to contact a member of the team directly? Samantha Jago, Elizabeth Leah, Arjun SreedaranBethany Rickerby and Clive Hogan.

rhw offer a fixed fee first meeting (of up to an hour) of £100.00 plus VAT.

What a recent client says about rhw’s service and support:

“Thank you so very much for all your brilliant help with my situation. I am extremely grateful to you for all your work carried out on my behalf. I am in a good situation now because of what you have been able to achieve for me.  I know you will be going on to help others go through difficult times and I wish you every success.”

High Net Worth Divorce

At rhw we often encounter relationship breakdown and divorce cases that involve considerable assets and business interests. We are also used to advising owners of companies as well as individuals benefitting from lucrative remuneration packages. We are very aware that these cases can often be extremely complex and on occasions, highly contentious. As well as the future personal prosperity and happiness of an individual, the future of an existing business can also be tied into the outcome of a divorce or separation.

However complex the circumstances of your divorce or separation, rhw have the experience to help you reach the best resolution, as quickly as possible. We will talk you clearly through the process and make sure you are kept fully informed about what’s happening at each stage.

Disclosure of assets and wealth can often be an area that gets overlooked in family law cases, particularly where a party is attempting to represent themselves.

This can become a matter of huge importance when the finances involved are considerable. We can help you if you believe your partner is not being honest about their finances and assets. Tax considerations are also a critical component of a high net worth divorce.

Elizabeth Leah and Samantha Jago are very experienced in dealing with high net worth and asset rich family law matters. They are both Legal 500 recommended lawyers. If you would like an initial chat to understand how Elizabeth or Samantha can help you:

Please call 01483 302000 or email guildford@rhw.co.uk

Alternatively, please take a look at the family law section of the website or see specifically our articles on divorce or pre-nuptial agreements.

Mental Health During a Divorce

Divorce and separation are the second biggest causes of mental health issues in the UK behind the death of a close family member or friend. Whereas bereavement usually has built-in structures surrounding it to help the bereaved,

as well as support from friends and family, the impacts of relationship breakdown and divorce can end up leaving those involved isolated and lacking routes for support with mental and physical health issues.

What are the possible mental health effects of Divorce?

Studies have repeatedly shown that divorce is associated with long-term impacts on health and negative impacts on psychological well-being. Up to half of those going through divorce report symptoms of very high stress and/or depression. It can take 18 months or more to recover from the full impact of a divorce. There is a useful guide to the symptoms of depression.

See a link at the bottom of  the page to a contact who can help you further.

‘Surrey Hypnotherapy offer clients a combination of psychotherapy techniques and hypnosis. The psychotherapy in itself is extremely beneficial and helps you to address underlying issues.’

We are happy to refer a client to Teba directly or, if you prefer, you can visit her website below and make contact yourself. Please mention rhw Solicitors when contacting Teba.


Meet the Family Law Team

Samantha Jago

Member Partner
01483 540 542

Elizabeth Leah

01483 540 555

Bethany Rickerby

01483 540 530

Arjun Sreedaran

01483 302 000

Clive Hogan

01483 540 556
Your Support Network
On Mental Health

If you are having issues with mental health due to pressures connected with your domestic situation, then rhw can help.

At rhw we aim to provide a fully comprehensive service for our clients. As well as the legal advice and support from our own staff, we have carefully selected independent financial experts we can introduce you to should you need their help.

We also take the mental health welfare of our clients extremely seriously. To this end we have teamed up with Teba Martin-Lopez of Surrey Psychotherapy who offers a range of psychological support that assists our clients with the stress and mental health symptoms they may be experiencing during and after a divorce.

‘Surrey Hypnotherapy offer clients a combination of psychotherapy techniques and hypnosis. The psychotherapy in itself is extremely beneficial and helps you to address underlying issues.’

We are happy to refer a client to Teba directly or, if you prefer, you can visit her website below and make contact yourself. Please mention rhw Solicitors when contacting Teba.


With regard to Finance

If you require independent financial advice, then rhw can introduce you to a number of local IFA’s who can guide you towards the right decisions when your circumstances are changing.

This service does not financially benefit rhw in any way. We look to provide a full range of support services to our clients when and where we can.

On other Issues

rhw’s team understands that the legal system and terminology used can be confusing for the lay-person. If you have questions with regard to other family law matters or any other area of legal support, rhw can either help directly or point you in the right direction.

Sometimes it is just someone to talk to that can help! We are here for our clients.

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