Stratford Solicitors understand a divorce is an emotional, stressful and difficult time for all involved. Our highly experienced family law solicitors will provide friendly, easy to understand advice and support to help you achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Whether you are considering starting divorce proceedings or you have received a divorce petition, our expert family law solicitors will explain the divorce procedure and advise you in relation to finances and making appropriate child arrangements.

Whatever your circumstances, we’ll take every step possible to minimise any acrimony and provide the smoothest transition possible for you and your family, all while still protecting your interests.

Commencing divorce proceedings

Divorce proceedings are commenced by the Petitioner sending to the court a divorce petition together with the original marriage certificate. If you are not in possession of the original we can obtain a certified copy and if your marriage was abroad and your certificate is not in English we will obtain a certified translation.

Grounds for divorce

In English law, there is only one ground for divorce and that is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The Petitioner has to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving one of the following five facts:

  1. the Respondent’s adultery
  2. the Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour
  3. the parties have lived apart for two years or more and both parties agree that they shall divorce
  4. the Respondent’s desertion
  5. the parties have lived apart for five years or more.

Once the divorce petition has been issued by the court, it will be sent to the Respondent together with an acknowledgement of service form, which the Respondent must complete and return to the court within 14 days.

Decree Nisi

A copy of the Respondent’s completed acknowledgment of service form will be sent to the Petitioner who will then send to the court an application for Decree Nisi together with a statement in support.

A Judge will then consider the papers and providing they are satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, will issue a Certificate of Entitlement, which will list a hearing date when the Decree Nisi will be pronouned.

The Petitioner can include in their petition a claim that the Respondent be ordered to pay their costs of the divorce proceedings. If the Petitioner’s claim for costs has not been agreed the claim will be determined at this hearing.

Decree Absolute

Six weeks and one day after pronouncement of the Decree Nisi the Petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute, which formally dissolves a marriage. If the Petitioner fails to apply for the Decree Absolute, the Respondent may do so twelve weeks thereafter but must give notice of their application to the Petitioner.

Enquire Now

“Nick when you were recommended to me, although I live in Liverpool and Poynton is not local to me, I decided to go with the recommendation and I am so glad that I did. You and Karen have been knowledgeble, approachable, have responded very quickly and made what I thought would be a very stressful and difficult process feel much less stressful and difficult than I anticipated. I went to you on the basis of a recommendation and in turn I would not hesitate to recommend you.”

Esther Molloy

“When I went to Stratford Solicitors I didn’t know what to expect, but the moment Nick Stratford walked into the office, he put me at ease and I knew I had made the right choice. Nick Stratford is a personable and charismatic man, and once he takes your case on, you get 100% of his attention, at all times. My case came to a very satisfying conclusion thanks to Nick and his team. I cannot thank the firm enough for getting my life back on track, but If I need legal help in the future, I know just where to go.”

Julia Turner

“I came to Nick on the basis of a recommendation of a friend who has used Nick’s services for years for a variety of legal issues. Divorce is such a stressful and anxiety provoking time. I changed solicitors to Stratford Solicitors Ltd as I felt my previous solicitors did not help to alleviate my stress. I immediately felt comfortable with Nick and Karen as they gave me straightforward legal advice. I found them to be efficient and professional and without their support I think a difficult time would have been almost intolerable.”

Tricia Penrose

“A few words abut the excellent service I received from Karen Leadbetter. At what was a very stressful time in my life, Karen took away a lot of the worry by dealing with matters promptly and diligently. I was kept regularly updated and was able to focus on other matters knowing that Karen had everything in hand. I also received excellent service from Lauren who dealt with my conveyancing. The whole process was very professional and ran like clockwork.”


“It is almost 12 months since I  contacted Karen for some guidance with initiating divorce proceedings. Karen came highly recommended via a friend of my family. After the first few moments of first meeting up with Karen, in a location close to my home,  I was convinced I had found the right person.  Both her demeanour, knowledge and level of  empathy made me warm to her instantly. I had liaised with another female solicitor a few weeks previously but I hadn’t felt comfortable with the response. I had at times underestimated the actions and situations became I would exposed to from my partner throughout  this process – Karen has been with me every step of the way and always to time to explain logically and was never more than a phone call away. Costs were very reasonable in comparison to those I had been quoted by other family law solicitors.”


Chantelle Abel

Why Stratford Solicitors

At Stratford Solicitors, we understand how hard going through a divorce can be, but we’re on hand to make sure the divorce goes as quickly and calmly as possible. Over the years, we have successfully navigated a multitude of divorce proceedings, protecting the best interests of our clients and their children.

We know your main priority is to bring a sense of structure back to your life following a split from your spouse, but this isn’t always an easy thing to do. Our experienced divorce solicitors can help lay the foundations by arranging custody for your children and ensuring you’re reasonably provided for.

Get in touch today to see how we can aid you or to book your free initial consultation.