Divorce is the final termination of a marriage and cancels all legal marital duties and responsibilities between a couple. Call us today if you need divorce advice from our solicitors.
You can only apply for divorce if you've been married for at least one year (or two years in Northern Ireland). The person who wants the divorce (the petitioner) must seek a divorce petition from the court through a formal process.
They will have to prove the marriage has broken down beyond repair (an irretrievable breakdown) and the court will issue a petition for divorce if you can prove that one or more of the following grounds for divorce is true:
- one of you had a sexual relationship with someone else (adultery)
- unreasonable behaviour by your husband or wife that means it is impossible for you to live with them
- desertion (left the home against your wishes with no good reason) for a period of at least two years
- two years' separation (living apart), if you both agree to the divorce
- five years' separation (living apart), if there is no agreement to the divorce
If one person does not agree to the divorce (a defended divorce) they will have to fill in a special form called an answer, saying why they do not agree that the marriage has broken down.
If both people agree to getting a divorce, this is called an undefended divorce. The court will look at the petition and grant an order called a decree nisi. No court hearing is needed. Six weeks later, the person who applied for the divorce can apply to the court for a decree absolute, which finalises the divorce.
If you have children, the court will need to be satisfied that you have made satisfactory arrangements for them. Find out more information about arrangements for children directly affected by divorce or read more about We Talk Law’s child custody and contact legal service.
If you need legal advice about divorce, just call We Talk Law on 0203 002 4898 and we will arrange for one of our expert divorce lawyers to call you.
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- Call us for your free initial assessment, to tell us about your legal problem
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