Once a party has made the difficult decision to end their marriage it is important to ensure matters are dealt with properly.

Most divorces follow a four stage process:-

  1. Divorce Petition

The only ground in this country for obtaining a divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. To prove this, you must establish one of five facts; all of which are discussed in our PDF Divorce factsheet.

  1. Acknowledgement

Once the Divorce Petition is issued by the Court they will send a copy to your spouse with a form to complete known as the Acknowledgement of Service.

  1. Decree Nisi

This is the Judges formal acknowledgement of the divorce proceedings and a declaration that the marriage can be legally ended in six weeks and one day’s time provided no good reason is bought forward for the marriage not to be brought to an end.  

  1. Decree Absolute 

Six weeks and one day after the Decree Nisi is pronounced, the Petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute to end the marriage. 

Financial matters – A Warning

Either party may, bring financial claims against the other as a result of their marriage for the remainder of their lives and so it is important to address finances as part of the divorce process to eliminate this risk.    

In most cases, provided the process is properly followed and documents drafted correctly, there will never be a need to attend court and matters will be dealt with by post. This is why it is important to instruct an expert


Financial security is often top of the list for many of our clients once they have separated from their spouse.  However, every couple’s finances are very different and it is therefore important to take tailored advice as to the likely financial outcome of your separation.

We aim to work with our clients and their spouse to try and reach an amicable agreement at all times.  

Financial Matters – The Law

Financial Orders can be made in all divorces for lump sum payments (where one party pays the other a cash sum), property ownership (where a house is transferred into one persons name), spousal maintenance to help with meeting outgoings and pension sharing where the court sees it as just and fair to do so.

Whether matters are settled by agreement or through the court process, the same law applies.  We provide advice based on the current law and our knowledge of local court decisions. 

In deciding who should get what, the Court consider the Section 25 criteria (see factsheet).

Cases are either dealt with by:

  1. Agreement – The agreement can then be drawn up into a Consent Orders and submitted to the Court for approval to make it legally binding; or
  2. Dispute – If an agreement cannot be reached either through solicitors or mediation then the only option available to secure a financial settlement is for either party to file a Financial Application at Court.  For further information regarding the mediation process please see The Mediation Website

The process of both ways of resolving financial matters is explained in our Financial Matters Factsheet.

Contact us: Why not Email our Team or call our specialists now on 01785 252377 for more information or to book a no obligation appointment at our Stafford or Stoke offices?