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Divorce

Divorce and Family Law

Grounds for divorce

You may be surprised to learn there is only one ground for for divorce: the ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’.

This is proved by any one of five facts:

Unreasonable behaviour – Conduct by you or your partner deemed sufficient to cause the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage

Adultery – Defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse

Living apart for two years (and both partners agree to the divorce)

Living apart for five years

Desertion for at least two years – Desertion takes place when one partner leaves the other without their knowledge or agreement.

The Process of the actual divorce (if both parties agree to the divorce then there is no need to attend court)

The stages:

A petition must be filed with a court by you or your partner. Whoever does this is known as the Petitioner, with the other party referred to as the Respondent

The court sends the divorce documents to the Respondent

The Respondent files an Acknowledgement of Service – this includes answering questions such as ‘do you intend to defend the case?’ and ‘do you agree with the ground for divorce?’

The Petitioner applies for decree nisi – an order by a court stating the date on which a marriage can end, unless a good reason not to grant the divorce is produced

The court sends out a Certificate of Entitlement confirming when decree nisi will be pronounced

The court grants the decree nisi and sends a copy to both of your solicitors

The Petitioner applies for a decree absolute after six weeks and one day has passed from decree nisi being granted. This decree is a final order from the court that officially ends the marriage, allowing each party to remarry. The Petitioner can delay in making the application for example if financial arrangements have not yet been finalised. However, if the absolute has not been applied for after 3 months then the respondent can do so.

This process does not include the financial settlement stage of the divorce. This can be far more complex and be time consuming if agreement cannot be reached.

Contact our specialist divorce solicitors on 01286 269226 or 07594461181. We will arrange a consultation with a family law solicitor; if requested the first 20 mins will be free of charge and we can discuss our fixed fee offer.

Call us for advice on 01286 872779 or send us a message