What is divorce?
Everyone has heard the term divorce, but what actually is it and how do you get one.
Divorce is the most common way that a marriage is legally terminated. A civil partnership may also be terminated but this is known as dissolution rather than divorce.
In order to get a divorce you must have been married for at least one year and your marriage must have irretrievably broken down. To prove that the marriage has broken down the application, know as a petitioner must cite one of five facts or headings. Many of these will be familiar to most people, they are:
- (a) Adultery that is having a sexual relationship with another man (if the husband petitions for divorce) or woman (if the wife petitions for divorce) and the other party finds it intolerable to live with them
- (B) Behaviour, that is that the behaviour of the other spouse is such that it is not reasonable for the petitioner to live with it
- (C) Desertion. This is almost never pleaded, it is a bit of relic and very troublesome to prove
- (D) Separation for two years with consent. The parties must have been separated for at least two years and both parties consent to the divorce. This heading can not be used if the other party refuses to consent.
- (E) Five years separation. Here it is not necessary to obtain the consent of the other party.
The first 3 headings are fault based heading, whereas the last two are as close to a no fault divorce as the law allows us to get. The difference is that under a fault based heading the court may be make an order that the Petitioner’s costs are paid by the Respondent, who is at fault.
The headings to dissolve a civil partnership are the same as for a divorce, except that a civil partner can not rely on adultery
Divorce really comes in two big stages, Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute. It is only Decree Absolute (Dissolution of a civil partnership) that legally ends the marriage.
We at Beeston Shenton are able to offer expert guidance to assist you during the divorce process to ensure that your interests are looked after. We will also advise you as to the financial aspect of your divorce and if need be represent you during any disputes about the children of your marriage.
We offer fixed fee where possible and you can rest assured that you are being represented by qualified solicitors at all times with many years experience in the often complex field of family law.
If you would like to speak to one of our Family specialists please contact us on 01782 662424.