Many people are confused about the divorce/dissolution process. It is natural to be stressed at the end of a relationship and to feel apprehensive about what may lie ahead. The actual act of divorce/dissolution, to end a marriage/civil partnership, can be stressful, costly and lengthy. However, there are ways in which you can minimise the stress, cost and time involved. It has to be said that the route to be taken will vary widely dependent upon the situation.
There is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This irretrievable breakdown is evidenced by one of five facts…
b) your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
d) two years separation with consent
e) five years separation
The partner asking for the divorce/dissolution is known as the ‘petitioner’. The other partner is known as the ‘respondent’. There is more information about terminology, grounds and procedures in Divorce & Separation Terminology.
The factors which can make the divorce/dissolution process more complex are…
- There are children or money issues (e.g. a split of assets) involved.
- The couple are not agreed on the settlement.
- The case involves complex issues (e.g. money abroad or held in trust)
Due to the emotionally charged time of a separation, it is often difficult to maintain an amicable and constructive approach towards your separation, which is why the help of a skilled professional is essential.
At Harney and Wells we are members of Resolution and very much believe that going to Court is a last resort. We follow the Family Law Protocol which specifies that your spouse should be sent a copy of the draft divorce petition and be given an opportunity to comment on the same. The purpose of this is to reduce animosity and encourage resolving matters in an amicable way.