Divorce (Marriage and Civil Partnership Breakdown)

Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage and is only open to couples who have a legally recognised marriage and who have been married for at least a year. As the law stands, to secure a divorce you must prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down due to one of the following:

  1. Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them.
  2. Your spouse has behaved in a way that means you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them – known as unreasonable behaviour.
  3. Your spouse has deserted you for more than two years.
  4. You have already lived apart for more than two years and your spouse consents to the divorce.
  5. You have lived apart continuously for more than five years (consent not required).

It is not currently possible to apply for a ‘no-fault’ divorce until the parties to the marriage have been separated for a period of 2 years or more.

Many divorces are commenced reliant upon the ‘Fault fact’ of Adultery or Unreasonable behaviour, but often it is still possible to agree with the other party the ‘fact’ to be relied upon in advance. This helps to limit animosity and ensures the divorce can proceed smoothly.

Divorce Solicitors

Whatever your circumstances Tollers Divorce Solicitors can advise you as to the appropriate ‘fact’ to rely upon when commencing your proceedings.

When you read about “quickie” divorces in the papers, this simply describes a divorce which is not being contested.

Most divorces even those relying on the ‘fault’ facts are not defended.

You can resolve the financial matters before or after the grant of the Decree Absolute which concludes a divorce, but you are only free to remarry after Decree Absolute.

It is also important to note that any Will made prior to a marriage becomes null and void on the marriage unless the Will was made “in contemplation of the marriage”.

Civil Partnership and Same Sex Marriages

Same-sex couples who register their partnership under the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 have many of the same rights, privileges and legal redress, as married couples.

If the relationship breaks down, registered partnerships also have the same financial remedies currently available to couples who divorce. This gives the courts the power, for example, to make maintenance, property, lump sum, and pension sharing orders.

There are also other provisions dealing with child maintenance assessments, immigration and nationality, employment and pension benefits on death, and fatal accident compensation. On entering a civil relationship a pre-existing Will becomes void so you will to need to make a new one.

Talk to Tollers

The experience we’ve gained over the years means we have the sensitivity, empathy, skills and knowledge to advice on the breakdown of any relationship. If you need help and advice and are unsure where to start or would like to arrange an initial consultation. Get in touch with our Family law team and they will be happy to assist.

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Our Divorce (Marriage and Civil Partnership Breakdown) Experts

Sarah-Jane Webbe
Solicitor
Family Law Solicitor Stevenage - Sarah-Jane qualified as a solicitor in 1999 at a high street practice in London. She specialised in family law from the outset...
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Sheena joined the Family Department of Tollers as a solicitor in December 2019. Prior to joining the firm, she worked at a local family law firm...
Deborah Atkins
Director
Deborah joined Tollers as a Director in August 2019. She qualified as a Solicitor in 1995 and has specialised in Family matters ever since...
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Since qualifying Sally has specialised exclusively in the field of family law...
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Natalie qualified in to the Family Department in 2018 having commenced her Training Contract at the firm in 2016...
Minara Hannan
Senior Solicitor
has extensive experience of dealing with family cases that relate to immigration and international assets...
Leonie Press
Associate Solicitor
Leonie undertook a training contract with the firm and qualified into the family department in 2013. She has specialised in family law ever since...
Katie Herrod
Partner
Katie qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has been a part of Tollers family department for over 20 years. Katie is a specialist family lawyer with extensive knowledge...
Alan Peck
Head of Family Law team
Alan is a Partner at Tollers with over 30 years of experience specialising in family law matters. Alan acts mainly for breadwinners and home makers...
Sarah-Jane Webbe
Solicitor
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Deborah Atkins
Director
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Minara Hannan
Senior Solicitor
Leonie Press
Associate Solicitor
Katie Herrod
Partner
Alan Peck
Head of Family Law team
Meet the Full Family Law Team

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