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Divorce

We aim to minimise the pain of divorce and separation and the emotional and financial costs.

Need a divorce solicitor? Get in touch today

Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnership Solicitors Manchester

The breakdown of marriage is a highly emotional and stressful experience. Our expert family lawyers provide sensitive and practical advice, and use their knowledge and experience to guide you through the process of divorce. They aim to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

What is a divorce?

Divorce is the process which brings a valid marriage to an end. A valid marriage is one that takes place in England and Wales. 
It must be recognised by the requirements of the Marriage Act 1949 (as amended) or if the marriage takes place abroad, the country in which the marriage took place. 
Alternatives to divorce are annulment and judicial separation.

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What are the grounds for divorce?

There is only one ground for divorce, namely that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This must be proved by one of the following facts:

    Adultery (this does not apply to same-sex divorces)
    Unreasonable behaviour
    Separation for two years with the consent of the other spouse
    Desertion for two years 
    Five years separation (there is no defence to a petition issued on this ground)

The only fault-based grounds are adultery and unreasonable behaviour. It is only in exceptional circumstances that the court takes into account the grounds for divorce in relation to issues involving children and finances. 
The divorce statistics published in 2020 by the ONS show that in 2019 the most common ground for divorce was unreasonable behaviour. 49% of wives and 35% of husband’s petitioned on this ground.

FAQs

When can you apply for a Divorce?

You have to have been married for 12 months and 1 day before you can issue Divorce proceedings. 
If you issue a petition on the anniversary of the date of your marriage, it will be rejected by the court. 

How long does a Divorce take? 

Most Divorce petitions are being issued online rather than on paper. If your spouse cooperates with the divorce and returns the acknowledgment of service promptly, confirming that they do not contest the divorce, then from the issue of the petition to the making of the Decree Absolute will be approximately 3 months.
We recently issued a petition on the 18th June, the Decree Nisi was declared on the 29th July and the client can apply for the Decree Absolute 6 weeks and 1 day after the Nisi. 
If your spouse does not cooperate with the Divorce, then we will need to obtain a paper copy of the divorce petition and arrange for your Spouse to be personally served with a copy of the petition. Your Spouse will have 29 days to defend the petition. After that date, we can apply for the Decree Nisi, producing evidence from the court that your Spouse has been personally served with the divorce papers. 

How much will it cost?

We charge £500 plus VAT, plus the court fee of £593. This is on the basis that your spouse cooperates with the divorce and we do not need to have them personally served or ask the Court to make an alternative form of service eg by way of email or personal media. 

When is my marriage brought to an end? 

Your marriage ends upon the making of the Decree Absolute. Once the Decree Absolute has been made, you are not entitled to any provisions made in your Spouses will or under their pension scheme as a Spouse. This does not prevent you making a financial application to the court. 

What are the grounds for divorce? 

For Divorce, there is only one ground. This is an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. This needs to be supporting by one of the following 5 facts:
(a) Unreasonable behaviour (b) Adultery (c) Two years separation with consent (d) Five years separation(e) Desertion (your partner has left you for a continuous period of 2 years).
As of April 2022, there will be ‘no fault divorce’.
Most divorces will be online after April 2022. However, nullity petitions will still have to be sent on paper to the Court. 

What happens to my children on divorce?

Issues with regard to children are dealt separately from the Divorce proceedings and any application with regard to children have to be made in accordance with the Children’s Act. 
However, in dealing with matrimonial finances, the arrangements for children are treated as a priority by the Court.
 Where the children reside might impact on how the courts divide the matrimonial finances on divorce.

Do I have to sort out matrimonial finances before the Decree Absolute?

The Divorce and the Financial remedy proceedings within the divorce. Where there are substantial pension assets the Petitioner will often delay applying for the Absolute until financial issues have been resolved because he or she would lose their entitlement under their Spouses scheme upon the Decree Absolute. 
There is no time limit for applying for a financial order and some applications have been made over 20 years after the making of the Decree Absolute. It is essential, therefore that financial matters are resolved by way of an order with in the divorce proceedings.
 For example, if one party remarries they can still make a claim on their Spouse for a Pension Sharing Order. 

Can I have a no fault divorce?

Under the current law, you need to establish fault (unreasonable behaviour or adultery) or separation. As from April 2022, one spouse or the couple can make a statement of unreasonable breakdown of their marriage. The divorce cannot be contested because the statement of irretrievable breakdown is conclusive evidence of this, and the court must make a divorce order.
This is the first time that couples will be able to make a joint application to the court for a divorce.
After the divorce petition has been issued, there will be a minimum period of 20 weeks before a conditional divorce order is made. During this period, the parties will be expected to take the opportunity to try and resolve issues relating to their children and finances. 6 weeks and one day after the conditional order, the final order (previously known as the Decree Absolute) will be made.
It is hoped that the no fault divorce will reduce the animosity when parties separate. 

Need a divorce solicitor? Get in touch today - 0161 883 0460