The divorce process is often not straightforward. It can be complicated and sometimes confusing, so obtaining expert advice from the outset can benefit you greatly in terms of being armed with accurate knowledge of the law. Having the support of experienced family law solicitors to rely on to ease the burden should not be underestimated.
If you are considering divorce or would simply like a better understanding of your options and what could happen, we offer a free initial confidential consultation contact Sally Abrams at our Cambridge Road office in Southport to discuss your personal situation in order that you can best be equipped with the knowledge you need to move forward.
What are the possible grounds for divorce?
There is only one ground for divorce, and that is that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.
This can be proven by one of a set of legal facts which are:
Unreasonable behaviour on the part of the respondent (that’s the person not applying for the divorce)
This can be categorised by the following:
- Physical violence
- Emotional abuse
- Alcohol or drug misuse
- Refusing to pay their share financially
However, the unreasonable behaviour doesn’t necessarily have to be something as extreme as those listed above. It just has to be a behaviour which you feel has made it impossible to live with the other person.
2 years separation with the consent of the respondent
If you and your spouse have been separated for 2 years and both agree to the divorce, you can apply citing this. However, your wife or husband must give their consent to proceed with a divorce in writing. You can still be living in the same home whilst you’re separated as long as you are no longer living as a couple. But you must be able to show you’re living as ‘separated.’ This includes, but is not limited to, sleeping and eating separately, not socialising with one another or going on holiday together.
5 years separation
If you have been separated from your husband or wife for 5 years you can apply for a divorce without their consent or agreement. There is no defence to this if you partner objects unless he or she can show the divorce will place them in grave financial hardship.
Adultery by the respondent
Adultery is very specifically defined by the law as sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. If you wish to divorce your husband or wife on the basis of his or her adultery you should consider that it can be extremely difficult to prove, unless they are prepared to admit it, so you may wish to consider basing your divorce on an alternative fact, such as unreasonable behaviour.
Desertion by the respondent for at least two years
This is the most uncommon reason given for wanting a divorce. You can apply for divorce through desertion if your husband or wife has left you without a good reason, without your consent, to end the relationship, or for more than 2 years in the last 2.5 years but that desertion comes to an end when you accept they have left you and move on with your life.
How much will it cost?
We offer a free initial consultation and we will then explain the costs involved and give you information about the funding options available to you.
If you choose to fund the work privately, we may be able to offer a fixed fee service for relatively straightforward matters. In more complicated cases, we offer flexible payment arrangements and will always provide a detailed cost estimate in writing at the outset. We will update you regularly and help you to budget.
Why go to Birchall Blackburn Law for your divorce?
The decision to divorce can be a difficult and emotional one that has a huge impact on you and your family’s future. So it is important that you choose a divorce solicitor who will listen to you with empathy and who has a deep understanding of your particular circumstances and concerns.
Our local specialist family law team based in Southport are compassionate and sensitive and will help to guide you through this complicated and stressful process. Through their many years of experience, your solicitor will try and minimise conflict wherever possible, without losing sight of your need to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family in a timely manner.