Do I need a solicitor to start a divorce or judicial separation ?
It is always best to get legal advice especially if children and money are involved.
However, you may not be able to afford a solicitor and may not be entitled under the Legal Help Scheme, see Legal Aid.
You can start the divorce or judicial separation proceedings yourself but you may need advice from a solicitor about money matters and children later on.
To start a divorce or judicial separation you should get a form called a "Petition" from your local County Court.
If you have children you will also need a "Statement of Arrangements Form". You may have to pay a court fee.
If you are claiming Income Support or being advised under the Legal Help Scheme you will not have to pay a court fee. You will need to complete a Fees Exemption Form.
The forms come with instructions on how to complete them and the court can explain to you what else you will need to do.
You will need to give the court your original marriage certificate. If you do not have one you can get a certified copy from the General Register Office.
Questions & Answers
- We have only been married a short time when can I start a divorce?
- How do I show the marriage has broken down?
- What if we can't carry on living together, but we don't want a divorce?
- What do I need to prove to get a legal separation?
- Can we just decide to separate without involving the courts?
- Do I need a solicitor to start a divorce or judicial separation?
- What is a Decree Nisi?
- My partner has started the divorce proceedings. Is there anything I need to do?
- My partner owns the property in which we live/or only their name is on the rent book. Will I have to leave if we separate?
- My partner has changed the locks to our home and won't let me back in. What can I do?
- I left the house and my children. Does this mean I do not have any rights?
- How can I get my partner to help me pay the bills?
- Who pays maintenance for the children?
- How does the court decide how much money I should get or what I should pay my partner?
- Do I have to tell anyone that my partner and I have separated/divorced?
- We are not married. Do I have any rights?