We recognise that dealing with divorce proceedings can be stressful and demanding.
Whatever the background, the parties will invariably experience a range of feelings which often include anxiety about the future, anger and remorse.
Our team of experienced divorce solicitors strive to make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible for you. Our objective is to help clients manage relationship breakdown with minimum practical and emotional stress and upheaval to their lives − and most importantly, with dignity. Whilst we aim to encourage agreement wherever possible, we are also capable of fiercely protecting our clients' financial and personal interests wherever the circumstances require it.
How do I get a divorce?
Before a party can seek a divorce, one year must have passed since the date of the marriage. Once that initial period of one year has expired, either party may issue a petition for divorce.
As the law stands, when a divorce is sought the party seeking to end the marriage must indeed show that it has finally broken down. However, there are only five specific ways in which it is possible to prove the breakdown, which are as follows:-
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Two years' separation by consent
- Five years' separation
How long does a divorce take?
A divorce will usually take between six to twelve months to complete.
However, this is based on the assumption that there are no complications, such as locating your spouse, your spouse not replying to the Court or your spouse defending your petition and/or lodging their own petition in response.
In addition, this does not factor in the time it takes to resolve the financial issues which can, on occasions, lengthen the divorce process. As a result, some divorces can take one year or more to complete.
Can my spouse refuse to divorce me?
The vast majority of divorces are granted without being contested. However, if the divorce is contested, the proof will be the statement of the party seeking the divorce in a sworn affidavit. This statement will be examined by a Judge, usually without either party having to attend court. If the Judge is satisfied, the formal divorce order will be pronounced in open court at a later date. Your particular circumstances will dictate the approach required to obtain a divorce if your spouse is determined to defend the proceedings.
Will I have to go to Court?
No, not if you and your spouse agree to an undefended divorce and the terms on which it is progressed.
If, however, you or your spouse wishes to defend the divorce or issue a separate petition for divorce on different grounds, this may result in the Court wanting to see you both before it makes any decisions about how the divorce will move forward.
If there are any disputes regarding the distribution of the assets that have been accrued during your marriage and/or disagreements involving your children, then it is more than likely than not that you will be required to attend Court.
What about no fault divorce?
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 was passed in June 2020. It aims to reform the law to remove the concept of 'fault' from the divorce process, allowing spouses to initiate proceedings without one having to blame the other for the relationship breakdown or alternatively having to wait for two years.
The expectation is that the reforms will come into force in Autumn 2021.
For preliminary advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our Family law solicitors, please contact us on 0800 923 0400.
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