Divorce Process

The process of divorce or ending a Civil Partnership is relatively straightforward although the personal effect which this may have on you, your spouse and any children involved can be distressing and even traumatic. How your advisor handles the sensitive issues involved may have a significant effect on other aspects of the process, such as making the right arrangements for children and settling financial issues in a way which is fair and protects the needs of any children.

Whether you want to know about divorce, termination of a Civil Partnership or perhaps a Separation Agreement, we can provide clear and constructive advice on the legal issues involved and deal with your requirements in an efficient and effective manner.

The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This may be established by proving one of the following:

• The adultery of the other spouse (adultery is sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, even if after any separation);

• The other spouse behaving in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her (known as behaviour);

• Two years' desertion;

• Having lived separately for over 2 years, with the other person consenting to the divorce or having lived separately for over 5 years (no consent being required).

Civil Partnerships

The rules for the termination of a Civil Partnership are identical, except that there is no ground of adultery (although such behaviour would almost certainly qualify as "unreasonable behaviour")

You cannot apply for a divorce, or to end a Civil Partnership, until you have been married for at least one year.

There are some alternatives to divorce, including Judicial Separation which follows a similar procedure although it does not dissolve the marriage or Civil Partnership. This may be appropriate where, for example, there are religious beliefs which do not recognise divorce and financial issues still have to be addressed.

Provided the divorce is not opposed and there are no disputes over payment of the legal costs, the process will usually take about 4 months to conclude and does not require you to attend at court for hearings. In most cases, an application for Divorce or to dissolve a Civil Partnership will be issued by the Court and then sent to the other person. He or she will sign a form to acknowledge receipt of the paperwork and thereafter an application can be made for what is known as a ‘Decree Nisi’ date. The significance of this is that, once 6 weeks have elapsed, an application can be made for the Decree Absolute which is the document which legally ends the marriage or partnership.

Our team will be working closely to understand your requirements and aim to handle your case with uttermost compassion and sensitivity.

Contact us today for more advice on divorce and the proceedings involved.

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