Q: What is the cost of a divorce? And is it simply a case of filing for divorce? My partner has been separated from his wife for 2 years and has lived separately all that time. There are no children or assets but his wife may not want to sign the papers. Will that cause a problem?
A: It is very important that your partner obtains specialist legal advice regarding his position. The cost can vary but many solicitors offer a fixed fee for a divorce, usually based on the cost of their services plus the cost of the court fee (currently £550) to issue the divorce petition. Your partner should make enquiries with specialist solicitors. Many firms offer free half hour consultations.
Whilst it could be a simple case for your partner to petition for divorce because he has been separated for two years, whether or not the process would be easy depends on the facts of the case and the reasons for divorce. Two years living apart remains a fault based process, so if his wife does not agree to divorce your partner would need to take steps to ensure that the divorce does progress in an effective and time efficient manner.
You mention that there are no children or assets of the marriage; however it is still essential that your partner discusses the settlement of the financial aspect of his marriage with a legal specialist. It may be that there are assets belonging to either himself or his wife which he may be unaware of, or which he may not consider to be of any real value. It is essential that disclosure is obtained. Given that there are no children to the marriage it would be sensible for your partner to obtain advice on clean break orders.
Article January 2019
Part of our Family & Matrimonial team in Wrexham
A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry