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If your marriage has irretrievably broken down you may wish to commence divorce proceedings. As divorce solicitors, we offer advice on facts you can rely on when issuing proceedings for unreasonable behaviour, two years separation with consent, adultery, five years separation and desertion.
Whether the marriage is between a man and woman or same sex, it is essential to try and reach an agreement on the division of your family assets and to embody such agreement in a separation agreement (outside of divorce proceedings) or in a court order (within divorce proceedings).
If this is not done then either party can resurrect financial issues in the future even against each other’s estate after death.
We understand that family matters can be difficult and we are here to help and guide you through the process and the stress associated.
People would rather avoid going to court if possible and we will do our best to settle matters without court involvement.
More Information From Our Divorce Solicitors
How long does it take to divorce?
Every divorce case is different and so the timescales can vary from case to case. It will depend on whether both agree to the divorce or if it is defended by the parties.
If the divorce is undefended it will usually take about 6 months to complete.
What are grounds for divorce?
There is only one ground for divorce which is ‘irretrievable breakdown’.
However to show this is the position, you have to rely on 1 of 5 tracks such as: Adultery or unreasonable behaviour (fault-based, 2 years separation with consent, 5 years separation or dissertation (non fault-based).
What's the process?
If you have been married for over 12 months you can usually begin divorce proceedings.
You need to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably by demonstrating one of the following:
1) Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them.
2) your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
3) you have been separated for two years and you spouse agrees to a divorce.
4) you have been separated for five years.
5) your spouse deserted you more than two years ago.
If the divorce is undefended it will take about 6 months to complete and usually comprises of the following:
Divorce petition is drafted. It is usual practise to notify the other party of your intention to issue divorce proceedings and provide a copy of the petition in the hope it and the costs associated with the divorce can be agreed
The Petition is issued by the court and a copy is sent to your spouse; Your spouse should complete an Acknowledgement of Service form and return it to the Court.
You then complete a statement confirming the details in the Petition are true and submit that to the Court with your application for Decree Nisi.
The Judge considers all papers and decides if you are entitled to a divorce.
Court sets a date for pronouncement of Decree Nisi to be pronounced.
Six weeks and one day after the Decree Nisi you can apply for Decree Absolute, although there may be reasons to delay this.
In the event that your spouse indicates that they intend to defend the divorce then normal procedure above does not apply.
We will advise you regarding the procedure in defended divorce proceedings should this become necessary.
Will I have to go to court?
If both parties agree to the divorce, this will make the process less contentious and usually does not require you to attend the court hearings.