Divorce is often a heart-wrenching, unhappy and difficult time for both spouses and their families. At FisherWright Solicitors, you can rest assured that our dedicated team of experts will not only understand your concerns, but will also prioritise your needs and strive to achieve the best possible solution, no matter the circumstances of your divorce. At FisherWright we understand that divorces are complex, stressful and emotional for our clients, and our solicitors will take care of the legal matters, allowing our clients can focus on things that matter to them.
As a member of Resolution, our principal solicitor Ms Fisher, has extensive experience in dealing with divorce and is qualified to assist you in every stage. Furthermore, our dedicated team of experts have considerable experience in dealing with divorces and with their expert legal knowledge, their dedication to client care and the desire to maintain a good bond with our clients, will not only guide you through every step of the divorce, but are qualified to assist you in all aspects which include, disputes in relation to finances, the division of matrimonial assets, or arrangements in respect of your children.
Below, we have provided a brief overview of the divorce process and the legal requirements of divorce. For further information, or to speak to a solicitor please contact FisherWright Solicitors.
What is the process of obtaining a divorce?
Whilst our solicitors will be able to comprehensively advise you in relation to the procedure of divorce, and address your concerns, an outline of the procedure is as follows:
- Step 1: Filing of the Divorce Petition: In order to commence divorce proceedings, you will be required to file the Divorce Petition with the Family Court, outlining the fact that you wish to rely on. Once the Court has issued the petition, it will proceed to send a copy of the same, to you and your spouse. Your spouse will then be required to ‘acknowledge’ the petition or alternatively will be given the opportunity to defend the divorce.
- Step 2: Acknowledgement of Service: Once the petition has been issued by the Family Court, your spouse will be sent a copy of the issued petition in conjunction with a document namely an ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ which they will be required to complete and return to the Court.
- Step 3: The Decree Nisi Stage: Once your spouse has acknowledged the divorce petition, you will then be able to make an application for a Decree Nisi which is a Court Order confirming that the Court is satisfied that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, and the date that you will be able to apply for a final Order confirming the marriage has legally ended.
- Step 4: The Decree Absolute: The final stage of a divorce will be to obtain a Decree Absolute which is a Court Order confirming that the marriage between you and your spouse has legally terminated.
The Legal Requirements:
When may I apply for a divorce?
In order to be able to apply for a divorce, it is mandatory that you have been married to your spouse for the minimum of one year.
However, if you have been married for less than one year, and are considering a divorce, it may be possible for you to seek alternative recourse depending on your circumstances, which could include Judicial Separation or Annulment or alternatively finalise the petition with one of our solicitors, based on reasons that occurred during the first year of your marriage to file with the Court once this time period has elapsed.
The requirement of Jurisdiction
In order for the Court of England and Wales to be able to deal with divorce proceedings, they must have Jurisdiction; this effectively means that you and your spouse will either:
- Need to be ‘habitually resident’ in England of Wales
- Be last ‘habitually resident’ England and Wales and either you or your spouse reside here at present
- Either you or your spouse ‘habitually resident’ in England and Wales
- You are ‘habitually resident’ in England and Wales and have resided here for the minimum of one year preceding your application
- You are domiciled and ‘habitually resident’ in England and Wales and have lived here for 6 months preceding your application
- Either you or your spouse are ‘domiciled’ in either England or Wales
- If neither of the above apply, it may still be possible for you to apply for a divorce, please contact our solicitors for further information.
Grounds of a Divorce
In order to be eligible for a divorce, the Court must be satisfied that the ground for divorce has been established. The sole ground for divorce is the ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of your marriage. To evidence that your marriage has irretrievably broken you will need to evidence one of the five facts, these include:
- Adultery: Which is outlined as ‘sexual intercourse’ with another individual who is of the opposite sex. If your partner has committed adultery you will be required to further evidence that you find it ‘intolerable’ to live them.
- Unreasonable Behaviour: You must prove that your spouse has behaved in such a manner, that you cannot be ‘reasonably expected’ to live with them. Such behaviour is subjective on the individual who is starting the divorce.
- Desertion: You must evidence that your spouse has ‘deserted’ you for an unbroken period of 2 years. You must evidence that your spouse had a clear aim to desert you, and that you did not consent to such desertion.
- Two Years Separation with Consent: You must prove that you have separated from your spouse for an uninterrupted period of two years prior to commencing divorce proceedings and that your spouse has consented to the divorce.
- Five Years Separation: You must prove that you have been separated from your spouse for an uninterrupted period of five years.