Family-LawThe divorce process is fairly straightforward.

The party who wants the divorce must file a divorce petition at the court.

The papers are then served on the other party. The other party must file an acknowledgement of service, which indicates whether he or she intends to defend the divorce petition. Defended divorce proceedings are very rare.

If the divorce petition is not defended the party who has issued the petition files a statement in support and applies for the decree nisi. Assuming that the judge is satisfied that the divorce may be granted the decree is granted.

Once six weeks have elapsed from the day decree nisi was given, the party who has issued the divorce petition can apply for the decree absolute. This brings the marriage or civil partnership to an end. It is not sensible to make that application until financial matters have been concluded.

What are the grounds for divorce?

First of all, the marriage or civil partnership must have lasted for at least one year.
The court has to be satisfied that the marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. This has to be proven by establishing one of five facts.

The facts are:-

  • The Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with them (this applies only to heterosexual relationships)
  • The Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
  • The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the start of the divorce proceedings
  • The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the start of the divorce proceedings and the Respondent consents to a Decree being granted
  • The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately before the start of the divorce proceedings

How is a financial settlement determined

There isn’t a standard formula for calculating how the financial aspects are addressed in a divorce. Whether your finances are simple or complex, getting professional advice at the earliest stage is essential. Find out more about obtaining a divorce settlement.

What is a “quickie divorce”

Most divorces proceed on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour. These do not require lengthy periods of separation and thus a divorce on either of these grounds have become known in the media as a “quickie divorce”.

Next steps

Please contact us if you wish to discuss your options for obtaining a divorce or ending a civil partnership.

 

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