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5 most common divorce questions and answers dealt with

News3rd March 2021

Facing a divorce can be a truly stressful period in one’s life. Thus it is completely reasonable for a person to have quite a few questions about the process as well as what to expect at the end of it. Luckily our award-winning Family team has decades of experience handling divorces and other family-related matters which makes them prepared to answer any divorce-related questions. Last month, we discussed what are the 3 key things to consider before proceeding with a divorce, and in this article, we will be covering the top 5 divorce-related questions we get from our clients.

1. What is a no-fault divorce and how does it affect me?

No-fault divorce is a new divorce application procedure that comes into force in Autumn 2021. This will mean that either spouse (or both) can apply for a divorce on the basis that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, but without having to give specific reasons, such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour, separation, or desertion. This will also apply to same-sex couples who wish to dissolve their civil partnership.

2. How will no-fault divorce benefit me? Is it worth the wait?

It goes without saying that not having to rely on the fault of your spouse will help eliminate any unnecessary acrimony during the divorce process. This can be helpful where spouses have amicably separated and mutually decided to divorce. It is hoped that having amicable, or at least less finger-pointing, should have the knock-on effect of more constructive and perhaps fairer discussions regarding financial and children arrangements. It will also be far quicker particularly for those who are waiting until they can apply on the basis of two years’ separation with the consent of the responding spouse, five years’ separation without consent of the responding spouse, or desertion for two years.

3. What will be the new procedure?

Either or both parties can apply for the divorce order and the Court must accept their statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. There is a minimum 20-week period between the date of the application and the conditional order (currently known as decree nisi) and then a minimum of 6 weeks before a party can apply for the final divorce order (currently decree absolute). This is aimed at giving couples a chance to reconcile and have those discussions regarding financial and children arrangements.

4. Can I apply for a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership in England or Wales even if I married my spouse or civil partner overseas?

Your marriage or civil partnership will be recognised as legal in England if the correct process was followed in the country the ceremony took place. You can then apply for a divorce if any of the following apply to you:

      1. Both spouses are domiciled (living permanently) or habitually resident (living regularly) in England or Wales;
      2. The spouse responding to a divorce application is habitually resident (living regularly) in England or Wales;
      3. The couple were last habitually resident (living regularly) in England or Wales and the spouse applying for a divorce has stayed in England or Wales;
      4. The spouse applying for a divorce is habitually resident (living regularly) in England or Wales, and has resided there for at least a year before making their application; or
      5. The spouse applying for a divorce is domiciled (living permanently) in England or Wales and has been habitually resident (living regularly) in England or Wales for at least six months before making their application.

5. What about if my spouse has moved or maybe moving overseas? How does this affect me if I wish to apply for a divorce/dissolution?

The only difficulty may be serving your application if you are unsure where your spouse has or will be moving to. However, you will still be able to apply for a divorce in England or Wales as mentioned in points 3 – 5 in response to Question 4.

Contact us on 03330 150 150 to speak to one of our experienced family solicitors if you would like any assistance with a divorce application or about any other family matters including child arrangements, cohabitation, care proceedings, and many more.