Divorce is seldom a pleasant experience. It can be difficult dealing with the unexpected breakdown of the relationship whilst also trying to navigate around the confusing legal terms and formalities. By seeking legal advice in the early stages, you may help minimise conflict, avoid costly court proceedings and resolve matters in less time and hassle.
If you and your partner are considering separation or divorce, our family law team can offer you practical advice and help you make sense of the process.
We will help you consider whether a separation or a divorce would be in your best interests. You may decide that you do not wish to take immediate steps to end your marriage or relationship however we can also provide you with information about your legal rights and options moving forward. If you should decide to divorce, we can help you draft the relevant documents and guide you through the process, step by step.
Establishing grounds for divorce
The only ground for divorce in England and Wales is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To satisfy this, you’ll need to prove one of these facts:
- Adultery - You must be able to prove that your spouse has had a sexual relationship with a person of the opposite sex and that you now find it intolerable to live with them.
- Unreasonable behaviour – This is the most common ground for divorce. You must be able to show that your spouse has acted in such a way that you cannot be expected to continue living with them. Unreasonable behaviour could be anything from allegations of domestic violence/verbal abuse to neglect.
- Two years separation with consent – You must be able to show that you and your spouse have been separated for two or more years and that both parties consent to the divorce.
- Desertion – This is where your spouse has left you without your agreement for at least two years.
- Five years separation – If you and your spouse have been separated for five years or more either party can apply for divorce without the agreement of the other party.
Initiating a divorce
There is a two stage process to a divorce. To commence a divorce, you or your partner will need to prepare a petition. We can draft the petition on your behalf and take you through the process of obtaining a Decree Nisi, which is the first stage and finally help you obtain the Decree Absolute, which is the final stage of the divorce process.
Obtaining a divorce
It usually takes about two months for the court to pronounce a Decree Nisi. This means that you are entitled to a divorce. You then have to wait another six weeks before applying for a decree absolute. Once you receive the decree absolute, you are officially divorced and free to remarry if you wish.
You will need to discuss with your solicitor whether any action is required in respect of children or financial matters as these are not dealt with as part of the divorce proceedings.
Unfortunately, divorce isn’t just about dissolving your relationship. There are other factors you will need to take into consideration and which we are also able to assist you with:
• Financial issues, including property, maintenance and pensions.
• Children and the arrangements for their care.
• The family home.
• Family assets.
• Wills, trusts and tax planning.
What can we offer you?
To help you decide what is right for you and your family we provide a free 30 minute consultation with one of our highly skilled divorce lawyers. Every situation is different and we take great care ensuring you are assigned to a solicitor holding the necessary expertise. To make an appointment just call us on 01245 228106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.