It is the sad truth that about this time of year, we as family lawyers get more enquiries about separation and divorce. Whilst this is a very difficult and painful process emotionally for people we try to make it as smooth as possible for our clients. Here is some information that may assist.
A divorce in England and Wales is based on irretrievable breakdown of the marriage which has to be proved by one of five ways:
- The other party has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them.
- The other party has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live them.
- The other party deserted you for a continuous period of at least 2 years prior to the Petition.
- The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of 2 years and the other party consents to the divorce.
- The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of 5 years.
I tend to find the most common basis of a Divorce Petition is unreasonable behaviour. For example this could be due to the other party’s excessive drinking, violence, working unsociable hours, inappropriate association with another person etc. It is certainly quite wide ranging.
A divorce tends to take around 5-6 months to conclude. It depends on how quickly the other party returns the first set of paperwork and how quickly the Court process paperwork. We try to deal with divorces as quickly as possible.
Sometimes a divorce is not made final until financial matters are resolved. One reason for this is to preserve pension rights pending conclusion of the divorce.
If the divorce is fault base i.e. unreasonable behaviour, adultery or desertion, a claim for costs against the other party can be made. It is a matter for the Court whether they make such an Order. Often parties try to agree the division of the costs before the divorce proceeds and indeed it is good practice to send a draft copy of the Divorce Petition to the other party prior to it being issued in Court.
The divorce itself does not bring financial claims against one another to an end and these do need to be dealt with separately.
It is important to deal with financial matters in a timely manner as should a party re-marry this can affect the ability to make a claim.
Generally parties do not have to attend Court to deal with the divorce. It is usually dealt with by corresponding with the Court.
There is one Court fee to pay which is currently £410.00 payable to the Court when issuing the divorce Petition, although there is a scheme whereby, dependent upon a person’s financial circumstances, they could be partially or totally exempt from paying this fee.
Speak to a specialist local divorce lawyer
Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire, feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.
Leicester 0116 254 8871
Hinckley 01455 639 900
Market Harborough 01858 467 181