Deciding to end your relationship with a divorce can be an incredibly difficult process. It will not only impact the lives of the couple that are separating but it will also affect any children in the relationship. Ensuring that you have expert legal advice can ensure that you understand your rights and options. Our specialist family lawyers can assist you throughout your divorce and can guide you in a professional and yet sensitive way through this very difficult period.
Criteria for divorce
There are certain criteria that need to be satisfied before a divorce will be granted. It is not possible to get a divorce if you have been married for less than 12 months. Once you have been married for over 12 months, it is then necessary to establish one of the following five criteria:
- Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live together.
- The behaviour of your spouse means it is unreasonable for you to live together.
- You were deserted by your spouse for a continuous period of at least 2 years.
- You have been living separately from your spouse for at least 2 years and you both agree to a divorce.
- You have been living separately from your spouse for at least 5 years: if this applies then you do not need the consent of your spouse to divorce.
Process for divorce
If your spouse does not object to a divorce then the whole process can take place as a paper exercise that does not require attendance at Court. This does not include issues relating to children and finances that may need to be dealt with separately.
The process for an amicable divorce with both parties agreeing usually takes between four to six months. The main four stages are as follows:
- Stage one is the filing of a divorce petition.
- The court will then send a copy of the divorce petition to your spouse which they need to acknowledge within seven days.
- It is then possible to apply for the Decree Nisi (first decree), which is a document that the court issues to say they cannot see a reason why you cannot divorce. When the decree nisi is pronounced by the judge a pronouncement date is set.
- The final decree can be applied for six weeks and a day after the pronouncement date. The application usually takes about two weeks at which point the marriage is formally ended.
Considerations in a divorce
The dissolution of the marriage is not the only issue that will arise during a divorce. Property and finance issues can be very complicated and the division of assets between the parties in a divorce requires careful consideration of all factors involved. Our experienced family lawyers can negotiate on your behalf to ensure there is a fair division of assets.
A significant issue will arise in a divorce if there are children in the relationship. The rights of the child are paramount: a child has a right to contact with both their parents. When a couple divorce, both parties will need to resolve issues relating to child custody arrangements and parental responsibility.
Contact our Family Lawyers, Alderley Edge, Cheshire
We recognise that a divorce will inevitably cause a great deal of stress and the path to solving these worries can be unclear and confusing. We are here to help and offer an initial 30-minute appointment free of charge at our Head Office. We can also assist in providing guidance on other issues surrounding a divorce, such as the division of assets and custody arrangements for children.
Call us on 01625 460281 for a no-obligation consultation from one of our expert lawyers. Alternatively, you can complete our online enquiry form.