Legal services in Westcliff, Southend and elsewhere.




In divorce matters, as in all matters, confidentiality and discretion are of the utmost importance, together with sensitivity when dealing with clients.

We recognise how difficult the breakdown of a relationship can be and we strive to do all we can to assist our clients in bringing about a speedy and effective resolution to the issues which may arise.

Grounds for a divorce

A divorce can be based on one or more of the following:

      1. The adultery of your husband/wife.
      2. The unreasonable behaviour of your husband/wife towards you.
      3. Desertion by your husband/wife.
      4. The separation of you and your husband/wife for at least two years where your husband/wife consents to the divorce on that basis.
      5. The separation of you and your husband/wife for at least five years (the consent of your husband/wife is not required).

You cannot start divorce proceedings unless you have been married for more than one year.

If you were married abroad, you may still approach a divorce solicitor in England or Wales for assistance with regard to divorce proceedings.

Key stages in the divorce process

  • The Petition is sent to the Court by the person starting the divorce proceedings (called the Petitioner).
  • The Petition is sent (served) by the Court on your husband/wife (called the Respondent) and your husband/wife completes an Acknowledgement of Service.
  • If your husband/wife objects to (contests) the Petition there may be a Hearing but generally matters are agreed between the husband and wife and attendance at Court is not necessary.
  • The Court considers the Petition and the arrangements for any children.
  • Pronouncement of Decree Nisi.
  • Pronouncement of Decree Absolute (at least six weeks and one day after Decree Nisi)


Mediation is a process whereby you and your husband/wife have the opportunity to discuss issues (usually relating to the financial side of the marriage but also other issues which there may be, for example, with regard to children) at a meeting or meetings with a mediator there to assist you in reaching agreement. It will not be suitable in every case but where it is suitable it can produce more timely and cost effective solutions. Our divorce solicitor Maggie Kerrigan will be pleased to discuss matters with you.

Separation Agreements

A Separation Agreement is useful if a couple wish to separate but do not wish to instigate divorce proceedings. Separation Agreements can deal with issues such as where a child or children of the family will live custody, child contact and child maintenance, property issues and such like.