Divorce – The Grounds & The Process

The decision to end a marriage is always a difficult one, even more so when divorcing or separating is not a mutual choice. It can be like bereavement, where you might experience grief, denial, anger and resentment. Most people recover from bereavement and will from divorce, but it is painful to walk away from the emotional and financial investment.

KBL’s Family Law team have advised and supported many people going through this highly emotive time. Our experience enable us to provide the support required to make the process as smooth and uncomplicated as possible for all involved.

The first stage is deciding the grounds for divorce.

There is only one ground for divorce, and that is that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down”.  This must be proved using one of five possible facts:

1. Adultery – it is intolerable to live with them any longer.

2. Behaviour – the other party has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to continue to live them.

3. 2 years separation, with consent – the parties have lived apart for a continuous period of 2 years and the other party consents to the divorce.

4. 5 years separation – the parties have lived apart for a continuous period of 5 years.  The consent of the other party is not required here,  however, the Petition will still need to be served on the other party and proof that they have received the paperwork is still required by the Court.

5. Desertion – the spouse has been absent for a continuous period of at least 2 years prior to the Petition.

“No fault” divorce will come into force in April 2022 without the need to wait 2 or 5 years before petitioning, however, if you are already considering divorce there is no need to delay as many aspects of the divorce process will remain the same regardless of which method you choose.

The length of time it takes to get divorced will depend upon a number of factors. An undefended case with a co-operative respondent may take between 3-6 months to conclude. However, this timescale could be longer if the respondent does not co-operate or the divorce cannot be concluded using the online divorce facility. The Courts are extremely busy and subject to regional Court delays.

The pronouncement of the Decree Absolute ends the legal contract of marriage.

A common misconception with the Divorce process is that once the Decree Absolute has been granted, this is the end of the matter and you have severed all ties with your ex-spouse. Few realise that ex-spouses can still make financial claims against each other in the future if they have not obtained a clean break Financial Order from the Court.  It is therefore important to deal with the financial aspects of your separation at the same time as the divorce.

It is important that steps are taken in the right order, and so you should take advice from a specialist solicitor before proceeding.  At KBL, our Family team have many years’ experience in helping individuals in all sorts of different situations.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange an initial consultation please contact our family team:  Amera Karim Nazib on Bolton 01204 527777 or Blackburn 01254 268790 or email  aknazib@kbl.co.uk 

We will listen, advise, and remain by your side until you have reached a final settlement, ready to rebuild your life.