The How's and Why's of Divorce

The How's and Why's of Divorce

05 June 2017

The process of obtaining a divorce these days is usually quite straightforward, particularly if your partner and yourself have agreed that the marriage is over. Difficulties tend to arise when it comes to resolving the practical issues from a divorce, like where to live, arrangements for children and finances.

Sadly almost 50% of marriages end in a divorce, so if you are experiencing a relationship breakdown, here are some general questions that I am often asked by my clients about the process.

What are the parties to a divorce called?

The person who asks for a divorce is called the Petitioner. The person who is being divorced is called the Respondent.

Who can start divorce proceedings?

Anyone who has been married for over a year provided that one or other of the couple is domiciled in England and Wales or has been resident in England and Wales during the preceding year. It does not matter where the couple were married.

What are the grounds for divorce?

The only ground for a divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, proven in one of the following ways:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two Years Separation With Consent
  • Five Year Separation.

Will I need to go to court?

Not necessarily.  If issues can be resolved amicably between the parties, there’s usually no need for you to attend court; even though there are still court proceedings.

What happens about children?

If you are in agreement regarding the arrangements for the children then there is no need for either of you to take any further action. If there are disputes regarding where the children should live, or how often they should spend time with either parent, this can be resolved out of court via solicitors or through mediation, or with the help of the court through court proceedings.

We have reached an agreement regarding the finances and the house is sold. Do we need to do anything else?

It is recommended that you record the agreement reached in a court order. Without a court order setting out the agreement, both of your claims against the other’s finances remain open despite the divorce being finalised.

Roughly how long does the divorce take?

Provided there are no difficulties a divorce will normally take approximately 6 to 8 months to obtain. Delays may be caused due to settlement of the financial matters.