It can be incredibly difficult to accept when any relationship finally breaks down, but when it is a marriage that has come to an end, it can be almost impossible to get your head around. What are the most common reasons for divorce? How do you know when it’s right to put a stop to your marriage? And when should you start legal proceedings? Here are a few brief tips to help you on your way during this difficult time.
Attending Couples Counselling?
The first – and most difficult – decision you’ll need to make is that it’s actually time to end the relationship, and while for some this will be clear cut and extremely obvious, for other couples it can be difficult to admit that it’s the end. One way of helping you make your decision is to attend marriage/couples counselling sessions. Although you may not think that sitting and talking to a stranger can help, many couples find it extremely useful; it allows them to tell their partner everything they’re feeling, with an independent individual present to stop things becoming too heated and to lead the conversation in the right direction. Whether the counselling sessions ultimately end in you giving the relationship another go, or admitting it’s over, they can be a useful tool to push you both into making a decision that otherwise could have been dragged out for years.
Deciding On Divorce
If you do decide to get a divorce, there are several things you need to be aware of. For one thing, your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK, you must have a permanent home in England or Wales, and you need to have been married for at least a year. If you’re eligible, you can then proceed with your divorce, and there are three main steps you need to take in order to get this in motion. First, you’ll need to file a divorce petition; this basically entails asking the court for permission, and you will need to state your reasons for divorce at this time. Then you’ll need to apply for a decree nisi and then, finally, a decree absolute.
Grounds For Divorce
As has been noted, when filing for a divorce petition, you will need to state the reason or reasons for the divorce. These are called grounds for divorce and you must show that there are good reasons or you may not be granted permission from the court. You can give up to five grounds for divorce, and they can include any of the following.;
- Adultery – but you cannot use this as grounds for divorce if you found out about their adultery and then proceeded to live with them for six months afterwards
- Unreasonable behaviour – such as domestic violence, refusing to pay towards things such as housekeeping, verbal abuse or taking drugs.
- Desertion and living apart are involved in the other 3 grounds for divorce – you can cite this as a round the divorce, the fact that either you have lived apart for more than two years and both of you agree to the divorce, or if you’ve lived apart for more than five years and only one of you agrees to the divorce, or your spouse has deserted you entirely – though desertion is quite a neutral ground to divorce these days.
When looking for a solicitor to help you with the legal side of your divorce, make sure that you appoint a divorce specialist – and one who you feel comfortable talking to and who is able to listen.
Tim Bishop is senior partner of Bonallack and Bishop – specialist English divorce solicitors representing clients in Wiltshire, Hampshire, the South Coast and the Midlands – and online throughout England and overseas. For more information visit their specialist website at http://www.the-divorce-solicitors.co.uk,or call them on 01722 422300.