If you want to end your marriage, you can apply for a divorce. If you want to end your civil partnership, you can apply for a dissolution. The process is the same for both. 

You don’t need to give a reason to get a divorce or dissolution – this is sometimes called ‘no fault’. 

You can only get a divorce or dissolution after you’ve been married or in your civil partnership for at least 1 year. If it’s been under 1 year you can find out how to separate from your partner. 

You might be able to get divorced/ a dissolution without needing a solicitor or going to court if you and your ex-partner can agree you both want a divorce/dissolution. 

A divorce or dissolution will take at least 6 months to complete, even if your circumstances are straightforward. It might take longer if you need to sort out issues with money, property or children.

Before you apply, you’ll also need to decide: 

If you’re in the UK as a dependant on your partner’s visa, you’ll also need to check if you can stay in the UK on a visa after separation or a divorce. 

Getting a divorce or ending your civil partnership (EW) 


You’ll need to pay a court fee of £593 when you apply for a divorce or dissolution. You might also have other costs if you’re going to use a solicitor. 

You can share the court fee with your partner. If you’re sharing the fee with your partner but you’re going to make the application, get payment from your partner before you pay the fee.   

Check if you can get help with the court fee 

If you’ll struggle to pay the court fee you might be able to get help with it. For example, you might get help if you get benefits or have a low income.  

You should apply for help with the court fee before you apply for a divorce or dissolution. 

If only one of you is eligible for help, it’s best for that person to make a sole application for the divorce or dissolution. If you’re making a joint application with your partner, you can only get help with the court fee if you’re both eligible. 

You can check if you can get help with your court fee on GOV.UK.  

Deciding if you need a solicitor 

You may wish to get legal advice before you start your divorce or dissolution.  

A solicitor can:   

  • speak to your partner and their solicitor so you don’t have to 
  • represent you in court – this means they’ll talk for you so you don’t have to  
  • make sure you get the best result 

Make sure you get a solicitor who specialises in divorce or dissolution. You might need to look outside your local area. 

You can find a solicitor on the Resolution website. 

You can also check how to find free or affordable legal help 

It’s quicker to apply for your divorce or dissolution online. If you’re using a solicitor they’ll do this for you.  

You can: 

apply online for a divorce on GOV.UK 

apply online for a dissolution on GOV.UK