If you’re facing divorce or separation, it is often difficult to know where to turn for advice. You may be feeling confused, distressed and anxious about what the future holds.
Family Law Group has specialists in this area who understand the importance of acting in your best interests as quickly and efficiently as possible and in a non-confrontational manner.
When a marriage has broken down irretrievably and before a Court can grant a divorce, you need to provide evidence that the marriage is at an end. This is usually achieved by providing evidence in writing of one or more of the following five contributing factors:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- 2 years’ desertion
- You have lived apart for two years and your partner consents to divorce
- You have lived apart for five years (no consent needed)
The divorce procedure is straightforward, as long as both parties agree to it. In most cases, the divorce can be completed in six months.
A divorce is started by filing a petition with the Court that sets out the details of your marriage, any children and the reason you want a divorce.
This petition is supported with a statement of truth in the majority of cases, although occasionally a sworn statement is required. This statement covers certain legal matters such as whether there has been any attempt at reconciliation.
The Court will issue the petition and send it to your spouse who will then need to file an Acknowledgment of Service form, which informs the Court and you as to whether or not he or she intends to object to the divorce.
If there is no objection, the divorce can proceed to the Decree Nisi stage. A judge will then consider whether there is sufficient evidence to allow the divorce to proceed and, if so, will certify that the case can be listed for the pronouncement of Decree Nisi. This stage of the divorce is simply confirmation that the parties intend to divorce and that if there are any reasons why you should not be finally divorced, such reasons should be presented to the Court within the following six weeks (the cooling off period).
You can then apply for Decree Nisi to be made Absolute after a clear six weeks have passed from the date of the Decree Nisi. If the party that applied for the divorce in the first place does not then apply for the Decree Absolute, the other party can do so three months later.
Once Decree Absolute has been granted, this finalises the divorce.