Dealing with divorce can be a daunting task when approaching it for the first time. It’s a tight spot; you might have ended things sourly with your spouse, causing you to bear an overwhelming emotional weight as you proceed.
Fortunately, as paperwork goes, the procedure is fairly direct. If you want to ease your burden, you can seek help. Expert legal solicitors in London can walk you through the process.
Grounds for Divorce
The first thing your solicitor might touch upon is your reason for ending your marriage. The conditions for divorce are clear-cut and are as follows:
- If your partner has been physically, mentally, or emotionally hurting you, then you are due for an exit. Other disruptive behaviors such as drinking and gambling problems also warrant a divorce petition.
- If your partner committed adultery, you have a strong case for divorce. However, you cannot cite adultery if both of you still chose to live together after having known of the fact.
- Have you and your partner lived apart for at least two years? If you have lived apart for at least five years, then consent is no longer necessary.
Note that courts might require you to be married for at least a year for these to be decided as valid grounds.
Proceeding with Divorce
If you’ve established a strong enough case, take time to consider your options. You can also apply for dissolution of civil partnership, legal separation, or annulment.
When you dissolve a civil partnership, you are essentially terminating your marital status. When applying for legal separation, you retain your marital status and get to provide the parameters of both of your separate living conditions. The procedure for either, however, looks more or less the same. An annulment nullifies and invalidates your marriage on certain grounds.
If you need to clarify the details of your planned divorce and reach an amicable settlement, you and your spouse can undergo mediation. Mediating sessions are where you both agree on the divorce and the ensuing conditions: child custody, financial aid, division of assets, and more.
Requirements for Divorce
You’ll first need to fill out a divorce petition form with your spouse. You will need to attach your marriage certificate to this document, submit four copies to the divorce center, and pay the corresponding fee as the petitioner.
Once your spouse has received the notice, you must wait for them to respond. At this point, they can either contest or assent to the petition. If they respond with a defense, you can bring the matter to the rule of court. If they don’t, you will have to apply for decree nisi, which essentially verifies that the grounds for divorce are indisputable. Finally, you will be sent a decree absolute to ultimately ratify your petition for divorce.
The divorce procedure can take anywhere from four to six months, depending on the nature of the agreement between you and your spouse. Once it’s finalized, you are due to adjust to life after divorce. Settle legal matters with your solicitor and talk to a trusted therapist about processing your emotions.