At Prince Family Law we recognise that getting divorced or ending a civil partnership can be one the most stressful and worrying periods of your life. We are here to guide you through the process to enable you to move forward with confidence.

An application for a divorce can be made at any time after the expiration of the period of one year from the date of the marriage.

There is one ground for divorce: that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

The divorce is begun by an application to the court, which can be made by one or both parties to the marriage. The application must be accompanied by a statement by the applicant or applicants to the effect that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The court must accept the statement as evidence that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

It should be noted that there can only be a defence to a divorce in limited circumstance, but these are technical matters. For the most part, presenting a petition will mean you will be divorced.

After 20 weeks from the start of the proceedings the applicant or applicants may confirm to the court that they wish the application to continue. The court will then make a conditional divorce order.

And after 6 weeks have elapsed from the conditional order the court may make a final divorce order.

Judicial separation

Another option to divorce is judicial separation, which is often used by someone with a religious objection to divorce. At the end of the judicial separation procedure the parties remain married, so you could not re-marry. The court can make most financial remedy orders, as on divorce.

Either or both parties to a marriage may apply to the court for a judicial separation order. An application must be accompanied by a statement by the applicant or applicants that they seek to be judicially separated. The court must then make a judicial separation order.

Nullity

A further, albeit rare, possibility is for the marriage to be annulled.

A decree of nullity annuls the marriage. The effect of this depends upon whether the marriage was void, or voidable. As these are rare, specialist advice is always required.

Unlike divorce, nullity petition can be defended and so, practically speaking, the number of these cases will be extremely limited.

The procedure on nullity can be lengthy and expensive, and for this reason most people considering it decide that divorce is the simplest option.

Civil partnership dissolution, separation and nullity

If the parties are in a civil partnership rather than married they may still apply to the court for the partnership to be dissolved, for a separation order, or for the partnership to be annulled. In each case, the law and procedure is essentially similar to that for married couples.

How Prince Family Law can help?

We offer a free 30-minute consultation for anyone interested in our services. Our excellent team of support staff are always on hand to offer reassurance and liaise with you and the fee earner involved in your case to ensure you receive a first-class service.

Meet the Team

David Prince
David Prince
Managing Director / Solicitor

David founded Prince Family Law in 2005 having previously spent 17 years as a family law partner with a leading…

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Sarah Woodward
Sarah Woodward
Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Sarah has practiced family law since 1995 and trained at a large city practice. Sarah specialises in all aspects of …

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Lisa O’Connor
Lisa O’Connor
Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Lisa is a Chartered Legal Executive and Director of the firm. Lisa O’Connor joined Prince Family Law in 2008 having …

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Carey New
Carey New
Associate Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Carey has practised Family Law since 1999 and has a wealth of knowledge in all areas including financial settlements…

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Robert Gallon
Robert Gallon
Associate Director / Solicitor

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 with a Degree in Law and History and completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Skills…

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Katie Harrison
Katie Harrison
Solicitor

Katie has practised family law since qualification in 2021. Katie graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2016 with an upper second class with honours in her LLB. Katie went on to obtain a distinction in her legal practice course and won the Nelsons Part Time Stage 1 prize for best student.

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Rachel Barlow
Rachel Barlow
Associate Director / Chartered Legal Executive

Rachel has spent over 22 years practising at local Derbyshire and South Yorkshire firms and is widely recognised as an expert in all matrimonial matters

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Nathaniel Walters
Nathaniel Walters
Trainee Solicitor

Nat gained his Law Degree attending University in Leeds and subsequently attained the post-graduate Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Sheffield…

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Kelsie Thornton
Kelsie Thornton
Paralegal

Kelsie has been working in family law for the last 4 years having previously worked in a well known Doncaster firm.

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Clea Kapadia
Clea Kapadia
Solicitor Apprentice

Clea has always wanted to become a solicitor and is about to enrol on the Solicitor Apprentice Course sponsored by the Firm

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Sarah Hall
Sarah Hall
Practice Manager

Sarah Hall

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Anna Miller
Anna Miller
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Helen Fletcher
Helen Fletcher
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Rachel Lamb
Rachel Lamb
Personal Assistant / Secretary

Our highly experienced team of Personal Assistants/Secretaries have been with the firm for many years and offer a strong support network to our fee earners and clients.

Barrie Start
Barrie Start
Legal Cashier

Legal Cashier Barrie has worked in Chesterfield as an accounts manager for all of his working life…