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Can I get a divorce online?

It is possible to start divorce proceedings yourself online, and our experienced divorce solicitors at Stowe Family Law can offer support and advice throughout the entire process.

You can divorce your partner if:

  • You have been married for over 12 months
  • Your relationship has permanently broken down
  • Your marriage is legal in the UK (including same-sex marriage)

How does online divorce work?

Legally, our online divorce service is the same as other managed divorce services as it results in the dissolution of marriage and needs to be approved by a judge in a court of law. The process begins with an online application such as the D8 Divorce Petition Form, giving you the opportunity to provide key details before starting proceedings and potentially save on legal fees.
Any other issues and arrangements such as money and your financial ties, arrangements for your children, property and the distribution of assets will be handled separately from your online divorce application.

Experienced online divorce lawyers

At Stowe Family Law, we pride ourselves on our expertise in all aspects of divorce, including the online divorce process, court fees, reaching a financial settlement, making arrangements for children, the division of assets and more.

Our specialist solicitors can help to ensure your divorce is as quick and affordable as possible. We handle all divorce cases with a unique combination of care, support and professional service and advice. Most cases we assist with are settled out of court

For more information on applying for a divorce online, contact Stowe Family Law, the largest specialist team of family lawyers in England and Wales, to begin the divorce at your own pace.

Why choose Stowe Family Law for your online divorce?

  • As the only national law firm fully dedicated to family matters, we offer one of the best online divorce services in England and Wales, with over 80 highly specialised lawyers.
  • You can trust us to approach your case in an empathetic way so that your family is fully supported.
  • Our online divorce solicitors will communicate with you clearly and concisely throughout the process, so you won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed by complicated legal jargon.
  • We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and listed in The Legal 500.
  • We’ve been shortlisted for national awards and been named Family Law Firm of the Year by the
  • We have hundreds of positive reviews from past clients and are rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot.

Divorce online FAQs

Initiating an online divorce

Initiating an online divorce

  • How common is divorce in England and Wales?

    Census data shows that there were 113,505 divorces in England and Wales in 2021, a 9.6% increase compared with 2020.

    Some of the most common grounds for divorce in this dataset included:

    • Adultery
    • Unreasonable behaviour
    • Two-year separation with consent
    • Five-year separation

    A Law Society report found that between April and June 2022, there were 33,234 divorce applications, which is the highest rate in a decade.

  • How do I apply for a divorce online?

    Accessing our online divorce services has never been easier. Contact our specialist team to begin legal procedures and file for divorce in England or Wales. We’ll take you through every step of the proceedings, ensuring that you understand every aspect of the divorce and are confident in your decisions.

    Start your divorce online with our family law solicitors today by submitting your details to request a free, no-obligation, callback. Alternatively, you can contact the team on 0330 191 5765.

    Find out more about how to apply for divorce online

  • What is the quickest way to divorce in the UK?

    Divorce is rarely straightforward and stress-free. However, if you hope to divorce quickly, you must be prepared with all the necessary information. Our simple service and online access to divorce lawyers mean you can begin the proceedings the same day as you apply .

    An uncontested divorce is quicker than a contested divorce, although this is often out of your control. Uncontested divorces are more likely to be processed as online divorces, as they tend to be more straightforward with less demand for legal input.

     

  • Can you get divorced without going to court?

    When you choose Stowe Family Law to support you in your divorce, making a court appearance is unlikely to be necessary. This is especially the case if you have pursued an online divorce involving an amicable separation. Our unique, collaborative and holistic approach, coupled with our professional service, means that over 80% of our divorce cases settle out of court.

    The key to avoiding court is cooperation and clear negotiation between the two parties via our experienced lawyers,  , arbitration or collaborative law

     

  • Can I receive free solicitor advice about online divorce?

    At Stowe Family Law, we offer free expert legal advice to help you choose the best way to navigate your divorce, whether online or otherwise. We’ll aim to take some of the stress out of the divorce proceedings wherever possible. We’re happy to discuss our service, legal fees and your next steps.

    Contact our experienced team online on 0330 191 5067 or request a free callback.

Requirements for online divorce

Requirements for online divorce

  • What do you need for a divorce online?

    Before you apply for a divorce online, you will need these details:

    • Full name of your husband or wife
    • Address of your husband or wife
    • Original marriage certificate or a certified copy (and certified translation if required)
    • Proof of your name change if you changed it since your marriage

    Your divorce form will be sent to your spouse via post or online if you provide their email address to the courts.

Timeline and costs of online divorce

Timeline and costs of online divorce

  • How long does an online divorce take?

    In England and Wales, the average time for divorce, whether you hire a divorce lawyer or apply for a divorce online, takes around six months. 

    Within the whole process, there are two waiting periods. The 20-week cooling-off period applies after the court has issued the application and before the conditional order can be granted. There is then a six-week waiting period until you can apply for a legally binding court order. 

    To ensure your divorce progresses smoothly, you should complete the necessary forms as accurately as possible, respond to the courts quickly and ensure that your ex-partner knows you’re filing for divorce.

  • How much does an online divorce cost?

    When you apply for a divorce, you’ll need to pay a court fee of £593. Our expert online divorce lawyers are also available to offer legal advice and support  for an affordable rate or fixed fee option. The average cost of an online divorce with a solicitor acting is around £750-1,000 plus VAT.

    However, if there are arrangements regarding money and children to resolve, solicitor costs will vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether additional court proceedings are required.

Types of divorce and affordability

Types of divorce and affordability

  • What are the two main types of divorce?

    There are two main types of divorce, dictated by how events unfold when reaching agreements.

    • Contested: This is where an agreement on the terms of the divorce cannot be reached.
    • Uncontested: This is where an agreement on the terms of the divorce is reached and isn’t disputed by the other party.

    Online divorces tend to be the route chosen by those entering a civil and mutual divorce. However, many still seek legal advice to address potential complications involving financial settlements and child arrangements. There may also be religious sensitivities that need to be considered, which is where a specialist legal team can step in.

    If you would like to contest a divorce, there are steps you can take.

  • Is there a cheap way to divorce online in the UK?

    In England and Wales, the most cost-effective way to divorce is to avoid the legal fees of expensive solicitors. Consider starting proceedings yourself with our affordable, efficient online divorce service.

    Our efforts to make your divorce affordable won’t compromise the quality of the service we provide. With over 80 specialist online divorce solicitors on hand, you can tap into our extensive knowledge while paying a fair price.

    It is best practice to stay organised when entering a divorce – and it can make the process significantly cheaper too. Disorganised, complex divorces require more time spent on the case, which costs money.

    Get in touch with Stowe Family Law today and we’ll show you how to get a cheap divorce online with our expert team of family lawyers.

Navigating the divorce process

Navigating the divorce process

  • What is the UK divorce process? A step-by-step guide

    In the UK, divorce involves four stages.

    1. Complete a free divorce application (D8). You and your spouse only need to make one application between you in either a joint application (together) or a sole application.
    2. Submit the application to a divorce centre online or by post. The current court fee is £593.
    3. Apply for a conditional order once your spouse has acknowledged the divorce and after a 20-week cooling-off period.
    4. Apply for a final order after six weeks of receiving the conditional order.

    Please be aware that a divorce does not end the financial relationship between you and your wife or husband. You must also reach a settlement regarding any financial claims and the distribution of your wealth and assets.

    Other arrangements such as the care of your children will also need to be handled separately from the divorce you started online.

     

  • Do I need a solicitor for a divorce?

    The support of an experienced online divorce solicitor can help relieve you of the stresses involved. They can help you save time handling forms, navigate any surprises and reach an agreement regarding finances that considers you and your family’s unique circumstances.

    Find out more about the differences between an online divorce and using a divorce lawyer to establish which option is right for you. And if you feel ready to go ahead with either option, fill out our form today or request a free callback to discuss how our service can help.

  • Are online divorce services reliable?

    Whether you use a lawyer or do it yourself, online divorce follows the same process. This is because the divorce still needs court approval, as well as all documents and divorce papers to be legally binding. To begin with, you’ll need the D8 Divorce Petition form which can be completed and submitted to the divorce court or through the UK government online system.

    We offer a reliable service that allows you to begin the process of divorce online. When you choose Stowe Family Law, you’ll have the largest team of divorce lawyers in England by your side. Need a little more reassurance? Feel free to read reviews for our online divorce service to help put your mind at rest. We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot, with hundreds of five-star reviews to our name.

    Is online divorce a good idea? When compared to other high street solicitors, we’ve got over 40 years of experience and specialist support teams, including a dedicated children’s department, an adoption team, an international family law department, surrogacy law specialists, trained mediators and leading UK divorce lawyers.

  • Are online divorce papers legal?

    Applying for a divorce online is legal and involves the same process as any other type of divorce, including managed divorce services and other legal divorce services. The first of the divorce papers you’ll need to complete and submit is a D8 Divorce Petition form which can be done by post or online.

  • Can you divorce without financial settlement?

    Reaching a financial settlement or agreement is an essential part of divorce as it regulates how the money and assets will be divided post-separation.

    The financial settlement can be reached at any time of the divorce. However, the court only has the power to approve a final order (financial remedy consent order) when the conditional order or divorce has been pronounced.

  • What are some terms I may need to know ahead of my online divorce?

    Before starting your online divorce, here are some terms you may want to familiarise yourself with.

    Decree Nisi

    A decree nisi is the term previously used for a conditional order. A conditional order is a legal document confirming that the court does not see any reason to disapprove of your divorce. It is required before you apply for a final order.

    You must wait for at least 20 weeks after your online divorce application before applying for a conditional order.

    Decree absolute

    A decree absolute is the term previously used for a final order. A final order is the last legal document required if you’re getting a divorce and confirms that you are legally divorced. You must wait for at least 6 weeks and 1 day after your conditional order has been granted before applying for a final order. If you’re ending a civil partnership, you’ll also need a final order to dissolve the relationship.

    Consent order

    A consent order confirms your agreement and makes your divorce legally binding once approved by the court. It also outlines how pensions, property, savings and investments will be divided. The legal document may also include details on child maintenance payments, making it an important part of your online divorce.

    Consent order fee

    Once you’ve drafted a consent order, both you and your spouse must agree and sign it with a statement of information form. You’ll need to send the signed form and copies to the court handling your case. The consent order fee is currently £58.

    Please note you or your ex-partner will also need to fill in a notice of application for a financial order.

    Divorce petition

    A divorce petition is a form required to begin the proceedings and must be completed if you are applying to the court for a divorce or to dissolve a civil partnership. This form is known as a D8 Divorce Petition.

     

  • Where can I find out more about online divorces in the UK?

    Our blog covers many areas of the divorce process, including online divorces. Here are some examples:

    Otherwise, Money Helper has a guide to online divorce that you may find helpful

Show Transcript

Suddenly, the rug is pulled from under your feet as your long-term relationship breaks down. You need some help and support. You’re looking for someone who will listen, be sensitive and use their expert knowledge to help you make informed decisions. Someone who makes the time to discuss matters and responds quickly with the information you need. You need to feel in safe hands and be given the strength and confidence to face up to the challenges ahead. Stowe Family Law can help.

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Submit your details, and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation callback at a time to suit you. Please note that we cannot offer Legal aid.

0330 056 3171

Request Free Callback

Submit your details, and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation callback at a time to suit you. Please note that we cannot offer Legal aid.

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Julian is Stowe Family Law’s Senior Partner and is based in our Leeds office. Julian has extensive experience in all aspects of family law particularly in complex financial disputes. He has been with the firm for over 20 years and has a reputation for his strategic thinking and ability to cut through to the key issues and solve the most intractable of cases.

Date last reviewed: 05/06/2024

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