England and Wales now has a ‘no fault’ divorce system.

In order to divorce, a party has to present a document to court known as an application for divorce together with a court fee and the marriage certificate and where applicable a certified translation, if it is in a foreign language.

• The ground for the marriage breakdown is that it has ‘irretrievably broken down’.• The application for divorce can be made solely / jointly.

• There is no longer a need to show why the marriage has irretrievably broken down or to allege that either party is at fault.

• Previously, a petition for divorce needed to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that this was due to one of five facts:

• adultery by the other party;

• the unreasonable behaviour of the other party;

• that both you and your spouse have lived continuously apart for 2 years or more and the other party consents to a divorce being granted based on this fact;

• that your spouse has deserted you;

• that you and your spouse have been living apart for 5 years or more.

This is no longer the position. Provided the application for divorce is made correctly, it can be a straightforward process.

 Our advice can include:

  • Advice– As to your options and the divorce process;
  • Documentation – Preparing the documentation for the court to apply for the Divorce or advising you how to do so;
  • Marriage Certificate- What to do if you cannot locate your marriage certificate including if the place where you married no longer exists to get one;
  • Unknown whereabouts of your spouse– What to do if you do not know where your spouse is living and wish to progress the divorce;
  • Defended Proceedings– What to do if the divorce proceedings are defended or you wish to defend the divorce proceedings;
  • Expediting the application for Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute– How to apply to court to expedite the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute if there is a real urgency that you obtain the divorce quickly.
  • Which country– International considerations and where it would be best for you to issue the court proceedings; sometimes referred to as ‘forum shopping’
  • The financial matters on divorce – The divorce is separate to the financial matters on divorce but it is advisable to obtain a final court order in relation to the financial matters on divorce and the division of assets on divorce also. We can assist you to do so.

Contact Us- We are here to help you.

For further information, free from obligation please contact our family law specialists in the Family Department on 0207 332 2222 or email our family team.

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