Most marriages last a lifetime, and some couples can resolve even the most difficult disputes and the most challenging situations and still retain their relationship. Sadly, though, this isn’t always an option, and the reduction in legal aid for such cases means that separating couples should not only be absolutely certain that they want a permanent split, but should also consider all of the consequences and the required legal steps that are associated with getting a divorce. Family solicitors in Manchester can help navigate the divorce process, ensuring that the difficult period is as painless as possible.
The process of getting a divorce is a relatively quick and simple one in the UK, especially when compared to other European countries like Italy. One party applies to the court, giving grounds or reasons for their divorce, and assuming that the other party agreed to the divorce, it is often just a question of filing the appropriate paperwork. The question of finances, the division of assets, and custody and access to children is not, strictly speaking, a part of the legal divorce process, although these issues are usually agreed or contested at a similar time, and as a result of the divorce going ahead.
Your family solicitors, Manchester, will file the paperwork on your behalf, after determining the grounds that you are citing. There are essentially five grounds for divorce in the UK
1 – Adultery
If your partner had sex with another partner, then this can be grounds for divorce. However, if you have continued to live together for six months after finding out about the adultery, then this will not be considered good grounds.
2 – Unreasonable Behaviour
You must be able to show that your partner acted so unreasonably that you are no longer able to live with them. Unreasonable behaviour may include abusive behaviour, drug taking or alcoholism, or refusing to pay a reasonable amount for the upkeep of the house and the family.
3 – Desertion
If your partner left without your agreement, and the two of you have spent 2 years or more apart in the last 30 months, then this will usually be considered reasonable grounds, and a divorce could be granted without your partner’s consent.
4 – 2 Years’ Apart
If the two of you have lived apart for 2 years or more, and both of you agree that a divorce is the best or only next step then the courts will usually grant a divorce. It is necessary for the person that has not applied for the divorce to provide their agreement in writing.
5 – 5 Years’ Apart
If you have lived apart for 5 years, then you can apply for and be granted a divorce even if your partner does not give their agreement.
You must have been married at least a year before the courts will allow you to divorce, and some of the grounds that you can cite require a good deal longer than this period. The most common divorce grounds are those where both parties consent to the divorce and have lived apart for two years or more. Obviously, it is not possible to apply for a divorce under these circumstances unless you have been married at least 24 months.