The first step of divorce proceedings is issuing a divorce petition to the court. This document sets out information about both parties and the basis in which divorce is being filed.
Did you know that there is only one legal ground for divorce which is when the marriage has broken down? Once you have been married for one year, you are eligible to file for divorce however to do so you must prove that your marriage has broken down by establishing one of the five following grounds:
1. Adultery – Your spouse has had intercourse with another individual of the opposite sex and in result you find it unbearable to live with them. (Please note that unless you can prove this adultery, or the other party signs a confession statement, you cannot proceed on these grounds).
2. Unreasonable Behavior – Examples include domestic or verbal abuse, excessive drinking, financial extravagance etc. Examples of their behavior will need to be included in a statement within the divorce petition.
3. Desertion – Your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years without your agreement or good reason.
4. Separation of 2 years with consent – You have lived apart for two years and you both agree to separate. You may live together but do not act as a couple.
5. Separation of 5 years in which no consent is required – You have been living separately to your partner for five years and can file for divorce without their consent.
Your Solicitor will draft your divorce petition and try to liaise with your spouse’s Solicitor to give them the opportunity to agree with the content. Also, the court will charge a fee of £550.00 to issue the Petition unless a fee exemption is applicable.
Once the forms are received by the court, sealed copies will be sent to the other party and their Solicitor who will also receive an Acknowledgement of Service form. This form will be completed by stating whether they wish to defend the divorce or admit to any of the allegations. They will be required to return this form to the court within 14 days. A sealed copy of this document will then be sent to the Petitioner so that they can apply for the Decree Nisi. 6 weeks and 1 day after the judge has approved the documents and Decree Nisi has been pronounced, the Decree Absolute can be applied for.
Once a Decree Absolute is applied for, it is generally made within 7 working days. This is the final step in the process and when complete the marriage will be dissolved.
The application for divorce will run according to the circumstances of your individual situation. Financial proceedings and those relating to children will normally run concurrently to the divorce procedure. Divorce is an extensive legal administrative procedure, therefore, a strict time limit to completion cannot be set in stone.
At Hodgkinsons Solicitors Skegness, we aim to resolve your Matrimonial issues as quickly as time allows. If you are contemplating divorce we advise that you speak to a Solicitor at your earliest convenience. We can handle your divorce whether you live in Skegness, rural Lincolnshire or beyond. To speak to a member of our team call 01754 897150.