When can I get divorced?
Getting divorced is an emotionally painful process. You and your wife need to decide who is going to be the Petitioner of the divorce. If its you then you will do all the paperwork and your wife only has to send back a form called an acknowledgement to the court to state that she knows about the divorce proceedings.
All divorce proceedings are issued on the basis that you have been married for more than a year and that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.
You then have to choose one of five reasons why your marriage has broken down irretrievably. They are:
- 5 Years of Separation or more;
- 2 Years of Separation and your spouse agrees to Divorce;
- Due to your spouse having committed Adultery;
- Your spouse’s Behaviour is so Unreasonable that you cannot be expected to live together.
- Your spouse has deserted you.
The Divorce Process
There are 3 stages of the Divorce process:
- Stage 1 –Issuing the Divorce Petition
- Stage 2 – Decree Nisi
- Stage 3 – Decree Absolute
How do I get a divorce?
In order to become divorced, you need to complete the following steps, fill in various documents and file these at Court.
Problems tend to arise when documents are not completed properly incorrectly or there is disagreement between the parties involved.
How long will it take to get divorced?
In a straight-forward case where both parties agree the grounds for divorce and complete and return the paperwork quickly a case takes on average 4 – 6 months and neither party has to appear in court at any stage.
If the parties cannot agree or delays are made in the completion and return of papers to the Courts this can extend the time it takes to complete a divorce.
The effect of the Decree Absolute
- Decree Absolute will end any matrimonial home rights you have to live in the former matrimonial home. It will also affect the terms of any WILL made before your divorce. Also, If your ex-husband has a pension you will no longer be entitled to death in service benefits and will also loose your widows benefits under that pension.
The court will not automatically look at any issues surrounding maintenance, pensions or capital division, even if these claims are made in the divorce petition, which is customary. If you think that you will not be able to come to an agreement in relation tofinancial matters with your ex-husband, you may want to make an application to the court. There may be other reasons, such as the need for immediate maintenance or an order to freeze a bank account.
It is usual to come to an agreement about finances and very few couples actually end up going to court and asking the judge to make a decision for them. Consider using mediation to reach the agreement. Look for a mediator that specialises in family law matters. When you have reached agreement the court can approve that agreement and make an order in the terms that you have agreed. This will give both of you security that neither of you can change your mind. Note that the earliest the courts can approve an agreement is after the decree nisi has been made.
For more information about how2divorce your Wife have a look at our free guide at www.how2divorce.co.uk.