Divorce FAQs


Every divorce is different, and in a time of turmoil for those involved, can be quite overwhelming. Our team of divorce solicitors is on hand to give just the level of support you need.

We’ve put together a few of the questions we are asked frequently, and if you would like to know anything else, please do get in touch with our team of divorce solicitors.

For more information on how our divorce solicitors  can help you, please call us now on 01473 611211

Do divorce solicitors really need to be involved in my divorce?

If you and your spouse agree on why you want a divorce, how your children will be looked after, and how you’re going to split all assets, then it is possible to arrange your divorce without using divorce solicitors. You do, however, need to be aware of hidden hazards. For example, unless the split of your assets is set out in a court order you will not have a clean break from your spouse. This may mean that he or she can claim further money or property from you in the future.

Whatever your circumstances, it is probably a good idea to meet with a divorce solicitor to ensure you understand the entire process.

Many couples are able to sort things out amicably on their own but for others their conversations break down. Emotions play a big role and some people’s finances can be quite complicated to resolve. These couples often find they need legal advice and sometimes a solicitor to represent them to get through the process and achieve an outcome that is good for them.

When it comes to our involvement, at Barker Gotelee our divorce solicitors can tailor their service to your needs and your budget. Sometimes people want us to do the whole package for them, which includes filing for divorce, sorting out the children’s arrangements and working out their financial settlement.  However, we also work in other ways.

We provide one-off legal advice or legal advice on an ongoing ad hoc basis, We get involved in one part of the case but not in others. We advise on documents and can draft documents if asked to. Basically we tailor our service to what our clients want and to their budget.

How do I get a divorce?

There are a number of stages to getting a divorce, starting with you or your spouse (the petitioner) filling in the divorce application. But before this is completed there are many decisions to be made, including arrangements for children and how the finances are to be dealt with.

Once the divorce application is sent to the court, it is given a number and sealed and sent out to your spouse.

Your spouse is then required to acknowledge the application by returning a form to the court within fourteen days.

You will then be sent a copy of the acknowledgement and will need to sign a statement that the facts in the application are true.

Once this has all taken place, and the court is happy with the documentation, a decree nisi will be pronounced. (This is the court granting you permission to divorce.)

Finally, six weeks and a day after the decree nisi, you will be able to apply for a decree absolute.  Only once this has been granted, are you divorced. Sometimes there is good reason to delay this part of the process if the finances have not been sorted out.

What are the grounds for a divorce?

To get a divorce you must have been married for at least one year, and you will also have to cite one of the following reasons:

Unreasonable behaviour – where you find that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with your spouse.  This can be as simple as the fact that they are devoting too much time to their career, social life, a hobby or sport, and neglecting your needs, to more serious allegations. You will need to put at least four or five allegations in your application if they are minor. Fewer are required where allegations are more serious.

Adultery – where your partner has had sexual relations with another person.  This must be proved through either admission or by providing circumstantial evidence.  It is not necessary to name the other person involved.

Separation – when you and your spouse have consented to live apart for two years or more and you both agree to divorce, or when you and your spouse have been living apart for five years or more, even if your spouse does not agree with the divorce.

Desertion – when your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of time over two years or more.

How much is a divorce likely to cost?

The cost of your divorce depends on whether a divorce application is defended by the Respondent to it or not. Defended divorces are very unusual but do happen. Please ask our divorce solicitors for an individual quote for our charges. In all cases court fees of £550 must be paid by the Petitioner. Sometimes these are reimbursed by the Respondent.

Will we have to go to court?

If your divorce is uncontested, then you shouldn’t need to appear in court. Usually, this is only necessary if there is a disagreement over finances or if you do not agree on the arrangements for looking after your children.

We have children – how do we go about planning for the future with them?

When it comes to sorting out the future for your children, it is good to have a firm idea of what you both want for them. Often couples think alike about what they want. In this case the court will allow you to make your own arrangements and will not interfere with what you do.

If you can’t agree on what is to happen it is useful to ask divorce solicitors for advice. They should discuss mediation with you. This is where you will sit down with your spouse and a trained independent third party to try to resolve your differences. Alternatively you can contact a mediator directly. We provide a mediation service at Barker Gotelee  and our team will be happy to talk to you about what we can do for your family.

You’re based in Ipswich, but my husband is moving away, how far afield can you work?

While the majority of our clients live in Suffolk, our team of divorce solicitors based in Ipswich can work with you no matter where in the country you or your spouse are living.

While generally our clients come to see us at our offices in Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, our divorce solicitors do visit clients by special request.

Should you need to draw upon our mediation service, this needs to take place at our office. Sometimes our mediator will talk to children about their views on particular situations in their family. This is by arrangement and is always done at our office in a warm and friendly room.

For more information on how our divorce solicitors  can help you, please call us now on 01473 611211