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A marriage may be dissolved on the ground that it has broken down irretrievably. To demonstrate this, one or more of the following five circumstances (the “grounds for divorce”) must be proved:

  • Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to continue to live with him/her.

  • Your spouse has behaved in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect you to continue living with him/her.

  • Your spouse has deserted you for you a continuous period of two years or more.

  • You have been living apart from your spouse for two years or more and your spouse agrees to the divorce.

  • You have been living apart from your spouse for five years or more, whether or not your spouse agrees to the divorce.

If the divorce goes through without any complications, it will usually take about four months from start to finish. The person seeking the divorce will be the Petitioner, and the other party will be the Respondent. Granting a divorce is a two-stage process. Initially, the court will pronounce a ‘Decree Nisi’ of divorce – this is not the divorce itself – and six weeks later you can apply for the court to grant a ‘Decree Absolute’, which finalises the divorce.

Once divorce proceedings are underway, the court has wide powers to determine questions relating to matrimonial finance, although final orders can only be made after there has been a Decree Nisi. See our page on Financial Issues for more details.

If you would like us to act for you in relation to divorce proceedings, or any related matters, then please telephone us on 01332 293 293 or e-mail us at solicitors@aflp.co.uk to arrange an appointment to speak with one of our solicitors. Note that we offer an initial half-hour consultation free of charge.

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Financial Issues