Will I Have To Go To Court In A Divorce

You won’t have to go to court to get a divorce unless one person chooses to defend the divorce, or there are other unresolved disputes.

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By Claudia Price - 15th June 2021

You won’t have to go to court to get a divorce unless one person chooses to defend the divorce, or there are other unresolved disputes.

Do you have to attend court in person?

So long as you both agree to the divorce, and there are no disputes over costs and other such issues, you will not have to attend court in person to get a divorce. Even so, the divorce papers still need to be filed at court and be considered by a judge. In the past, this paperwork had to be posted. Now, however, the court service has updated their system so that divorce proceedings can be conducted entirely online.

Guidance relating to online divorce can be found on the Government website.

When you might have to go to court

If you are unable to agree matters, then you may both be required to go to court. This is most likely in cases where the Respondent chooses to defend the divorce. If the Respondent files a defence, the court lists the matter for a Case Management Hearing. Both parties must attend this hearing and, if the divorce remains defended, there will be a final contested hearing.

Another event which may necessitate a court appearance is when there is an issue in relation to the legal costs and who will pay those costs. When a decision cannot be made as to who will pay the legal costs, a judge will decide at the Decree Nisi hearing. However, this is very rare. More often than not, solicitors are able to agree the issue of costs without the court’s involvement.

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Ancillary matters

It should be noted that when we talk about divorce, we are only referring to the legal conclusion of your marriage. The actual process of getting a divorce does not deal with ancillary matters such as the division of your finances or child care arrangements. These are dealt with separately. If you cannot agree on any such issues, then you may have to attend court.

Speak to our divorce law solicitors

In all instances, we would attempt to resolve matters without any need for attending court. The most appropriate way to resolve disputes following separation and divorce is often through Alternative Dispute Resolution. However, if you and your ex-spouse cannot reach an agreement, you will have no choice but to go to court. If this happens, we will guide you through the process, representing you throughout proceedings.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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