For Individuals

Divorce Solicitors

For some, making the decision to divorce your spouse can be a difficult conclusion to reach, with lots of emotions involved.

While the process of getting a divorce can be relatively straightforward, problems can arise in resolving the practical issues related to a divorce, such as how to separate, where to live, the arrangements for any children and financial matters.

This is where the support and advice of our expert divorce solicitors is essential.

At T G Baynes, our divorce experts have many years of combined experience which we use to support individuals and families through divorce and separation.

We know just how daunting it can be to start the divorce process. That’s why our solicitors will take the time to understand your situation, providing straightforward advice and close personal support, allowing you to clearly understand the steps that need to be taken to achieve an agreeable divorce.

The team at T G Baynes can provide family law advice on:

  • Divorce and dissolution
  • Divorce and finances
  • Separation agreements
  • Domestic abuse and injunctions
  • Children matters
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Contact our divorce solicitors in Bexleyheath, Dartford and Orpington

Our divorce solicitors in Orpington, Bexleyheath and Dartford are here to help.

To speak to one of our local divorce solicitors, or to arrange a fixed fee initial consultation to discuss our family law services, please fill in our simple enquiry form or call 020 8301 7777.

Why work with our family law solicitors?

Our family law solicitors offer a tailored service to ensure that you receive clear and professional legal advice in what can be very complex and emotionally difficult circumstances. We can ensure that your case will be always handled in both a sympathetic and efficient way by experienced staff.

Wherever possible, our advice will include promoting alternative dispute resolution to resolve your case, reducing conflict and the need for contentious court proceedings.

Our family law team includes members of Resolution including a Resolution Accredited Specialist. Resolution is national network of legal professionals committed to promoting a constructive approach to family law matters.

Our expertise has been recognised by leading client guide The Legal 500. We have also been awarded the Lexcel accreditation by The Law Society, demonstrating our commitment to the highest standard of client care and practice management.

Learn more about the divorce process:

  • What are the grounds for divorce in the UK?
  • How to get a divorce?
  • How long does a divorce take?
  • How much is a divorce in the UK?

What are the grounds for divorce in the UK?

The divorce process was streamlined in 2022 through the introduction of no-fault divorce. Now, couples in England and Wales can get divorced simply by demonstrating that their marriage has irretrievably broken down.

While the changes in UK divorce law have simplified the general process of getting a divorce, it remains as important as ever to have the support of an expert family law solicitor on side. Our specialist divorce solicitors will work alongside you to make sure that there are no unnecessary delays.

When instructed, we can guide you through the process of divorce from start to finish, whether you are acting a sole applicant or joint applicant, ensuring that all the essential documentation is accurately and efficiently filed.

How to get a divorce?

Applying for a divorce

When applying for a divorce or dissolution, you have two options: a sole application or a joint application with your spouse. It's advisable to only opt for a joint application if you are confident that you can work together with your spouse throughout the process. If you start with a joint application, you can switch to a sole application later, but this can only be done after 20 weeks from the initial application.

If you choose to proceed with a sole application, you'll be referred to as the 'applicant', and your spouse as the 'respondent'. Alternatively, if you opt for a joint application, one of you will be referred to as 'applicant 1', and the other as 'applicant 2'. As applicant 1, you'll initiate the application and pay the court fee. You'll also be responsible for collecting your partner's share of the fee, although they'll have the opportunity to review the application before it's submitted.

Serving the papers

The court usually serves a copy of the divorce or dissolution application to your spouse, which is also known as "serving papers." If the court serves the papers, they'll send an email to your spouse with a link to view them online, and a notification letter will be sent by post to both you and your spouse. If you've submitted a paper form or haven't provided an email address for your spouse, the court will send the papers by post.

If you've made a joint application with your spouse, both of you will receive an email confirming that the court has received the application and outlining the next steps. You'll only need to serve papers to your spouse in certain situations, such as when your spouse lives outside the UK, you've requested to serve the papers yourself, or the court has attempted to serve the papers twice but has been unsuccessful. It's essential to serve the papers within 28 days of filing the divorce or dissolution application. If you're unsure how to serve the papers, it's best to seek advice from one of our best divorce solicitors.

Responding to the application

If you've submitted a sole application, your spouse must inform the court whether they've received the divorce or dissolution application and state whether they agree or disagree with it. If they disagree, they must contest the divorce or dissolution. Your spouse will receive instructions on how to respond via email or post and must reply within 14 days. They can only contest the divorce or dissolution for one of the following reasons: (1) the marriage or civil partnership was never valid, (2) they believe that the marriage or civil partnership has already been dissolved through divorce or dissolution, or (3) they don't believe that the court has the authority to handle the divorce or dissolution, which is known as 'lack of jurisdiction'.

Applying for a conditional order

20 weeks after you have filed your application, you can apply for a conditional order which determines if your divorce or dissolution can proceed. This waiting period is in place to ensure that you and your spouse have sufficient time to consider if you want to proceed. You'll receive notification via email or post from the court confirming when you're eligible to apply for the conditional order.

Applying for a final order

You can request a final order six weeks and one day after the conditional order has been granted, which will dissolve your marriage or civil partnership permanently. The court will inform you of the date you can apply for the final order via email or post, which will vary depending on how you initially submitted your application for divorce or dissolution.

How long does a divorce take?

Due to two mandatory waiting periods during the divorce process in the UK (before applying for the Conditional Order and the Final Order needed to secure a divorce), the minimum duration for a divorce to be concluded is now six months. While both parties have rights in a divorce, resolving financial or family matters can cause delays in the process. However, if your spouse does not challenge the divorce, it is unlikely that you will need to go to court.

How much is a divorce in the UK?

The total cost of a divorce can vary depending on individual circumstances. To submit your divorce application form and begin the process, you'll be required to pay a standard court fee of £593. Legal fees for each spouse are varied depending on how much support they need throughout the process. If there are children involved or complex financial arrangements that need to be resolved, this will increase the costs.

Divorce solicitors’ fees

At T G Baynes we understand that the cost of legal action can feel unpredictable and daunting which is why we offer an initial meeting at a fixed rate where we will provide you with initial divorce advice and discuss with you what costs are likely to be involved.

We are pleased to offer the following fixed fee services, inclusive of VAT, for an initial meeting.

Face to face or Zoom meeting of up to 1 hour - £168

30-minute telephone appointment - £96

Subject to criteria we may be able to offer a payment plan to meet your individual circumstances which can include spreading the cost by monthly standing order or paying at the end where the matter involves the sale of property which will cover the cost.

Please get in touch with our team for more information about our fees.

Speak to our family law solicitors in Bexleyheath, Dartford and Orpington

Our divorce solicitors in Orpington, Bexleyheath and Dartford are here to help.

To speak to one of our solicitors dealing with family law, or to arrange a fixed fee initial consultation, please fill in our simple enquiry form or call 020 8301 7777.