If you are seeking to issue divorce proceedings against your spouse due to the unfortunate breakdown in your marriage then currently, you have to prove to the Court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in your marriage. This is the only ground for divorce. The law is however due to be amended in the very near future that will allow couples to divorce on a no fault basis but until such time as these amendments to the law come into effect, a person wishing to divorce has to prove irretrievable breakdown by relying upon one of the five facts for divorce. These are:-
- Two years separation with consent: you and your spouse have lived apart for at least two continuous years and your spouse consents to the divorce;
- Adultery: your partner has committed adultery and you can no longer live with them;
- Desertion: your spouse has deserted you for a period of at least two continuous years immediately prior to the divorce petition;
- Unreasonable behaviour: your spouse has acted in such a way that you cannot be expected to live with them;
- Five years separation: you have been apart for a continuous period of 5 years prior to the presentation of the petition.
Currently, the law that applies to divorce is under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 but the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 is due to come into effect on 6 April 202. This will enable couples to divorce without assigning blame or fault to the other and will mean that instead of having to attribute blame to one party, a couple can mutually cite ‘irretrievable breakdown’ as the sole ground for wanting to obtain a divorce.
The divorce application is also now made online through the HMCTS Court portal, meaning the postal delays can be avoided and this can make the divorce process much quicker although more often than not if there are matrimonial finances to be resolved then this will often delay the divorce concluding.
It is important that you seek legal advice if you are considering issuing divorce proceedings against your spouse and particularly if there are matrimonial finances to be resolved. This is to ensure that you can be fully advised as to the options available to you, the law that is applied, the Orders the Court can make and to ensure that whatever agreement is reached between a divorcing couple, the agreement is fair to you. It is also important to ensure that the agreement is incorporated into a legally enforceable document called a Consent Order. If agreement cannot be reached as to the matrimonial finances then it is open to either party in a divorce to make an application to Court but we at Berksons Family Law will always try to ensure that your case is settled outside of the Court arena wherever possible so that legal costs can be kept as minimal as possible.
At Berkson Family Law, we have Solicitors experienced in dealing with divorce and matrimonial finances who always ensure that client’s cases are dealt with as amicably, constructively and cost effectively as possible. If you are seeking advice on any divorce related matter then please do not hesitate to contact our offices were a member of our team will be happy to assist and discuss eligibility for legal aid if available to you, or alternatively to discuss our private paying fees.