Divorce/Dissolution of Civil Partnership
Reference to divorce below will also include dissolution of a civil partnership.
In most cases, divorce or dissolution of civil partnership proceedings cannot begin until you have been married for at least one year.
The person who starts the process is known as the Petitioner and the other party is the Respondent.
It is always best for you and your spouse to deal with the divorce as amicably as possible. You will be advised not to name a third person when there are allegations of adultery and allegations of unreasonable behaviour should be limited to approximately 5 examples, lengthy and inflammatory particulars of behaviour can lead to increased animosity and more difficulty when trying to resolve disputes concerning finances and the children.
The ground for your divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage evidenced either by your spouse’s admitted adultery, or their unreasonable behaviour. If you have been separated for 2 years then, provided your spouse consents, the divorce will be evidenced by the fact of your separation, if they don’t consent then you must be separated for 5 years.
From the details you provide, we will complete a divorce petition on your behalf and forward it to you for approval. Once approved, your lawyer will send your petition to your spouse and then to the Court to be issued, together with your Marriage Certificate and Court fee.
The Court sends a copy of your petition to your spouse, who must then acknowledge receipt and say whether they wish to contest the divorce. Most divorce petitions are uncontested.
We will prepare a statement of evidence in support of your petition and you will be asked to sign it. We send this to the Court with your application for the first part of your divorce decree (called Decree Nisi in divorce or Conditional Order in dissolution proceedings).
If the Court is satisfied that there are grounds for the divorce, a date will be fixed for the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi. Six weeks after that date, you can apply for the final decree (called Decree Absolute in divorce and Final Order in dissolution proceedings) which will then dissolve your marriage or civil partnership, but if there are any financial matters that are still to be agreed with your spouse, you may be advised to delay this application.