Divorce proceedings will often bring up all sorts of emotions. Individuals facing the end of their marriage may wonder if they can dispute a divorce. But are there any valid reasons to contest a divorce, and how easy is it to do so? Understanding the grounds for dispute, responding promptly to a divorce application and seeking legal support will help you navigate the complexities.

Here are some key points to know about contesting a divorce.

How easy is it to contest a divorce?

Since new laws were introduced in 2022, contesting a divorce in the UK is not a straightforward process. The legal system aims to facilitate a fair and efficient dissolution of marriages, so contesting a divorce may prolong the emotional and financial strain on both parties involved.

Courts in England and Wales operate on a no-fault divorce basis, meaning that irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is the sole ground for divorce. To contest a divorce application, you must demonstrate a valid reason, and even then, success is not guaranteed.

What reasons can you dispute a divorce?

Contesting a divorce in England and Wales requires evidence of specific grounds recognised by the law. This includes exceptional circumstances, such as proving the marriage or civil partnership was never valid to begin with, you have already gone through a legal divorce process in another country, or you or your partner currently live abroad.

If you think you have a legally valid reason to contest a divorce, you should seek advice from a divorce lawyer. If disputing the divorce is necessary, you will need to file a response outlining this.

How do you respond to a divorce application?

If your spouse has initiated divorce proceedings, you will receive a copy of their petition and a notice of proceedings, which will explain what you should do next. It is important to respond to the application promptly and carefully. Ignoring the petition or failing to respond within the specified timeframe may result in the court proceeding without your input.

If you plan to contest the divorce, getting advice at this stage is highly recommended to ensure your response is legally sound and effectively represents your position.

What legal support can you get for a divorce?

Ultimately, the goal in any divorce process should be a fair and amicable resolution for both parties involved. There are lots of benefits of hiring a divorce solicitor, including getting tailored advice on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.

Your lawyer can help you gather evidence for financial settlements and child arrangements, navigate complex legal processes and represent your interests. Additionally, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, can be explored to find an amicable resolution outside of court.

Get expert legal support for your divorce

At Bellwether Solicitors, we are a dedicated family law specialist with clients from Worcester Park, Wallington and beyond. For more advice, please get in touch.