The breakdown of a marriage is a difficult and emotional time in anyone’s life. Inevitably there will be conflict between the parties but if this is addressed with sensible advice, the process of divorce and the resolution of issues surrounding the breakdown can be made as painless as possible.
Linda Berry is a Member of the Institute of Legal Executives who deals with divorce and cohabitation disputes, children issues, financial matters, domestic violence and injunctions. Linda’s aim is always to help resolve situations as swiftly and amicably as possible.
Divorce in England
There is only one ‘ground’ for divorce under English law. That is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
There are however five ‘facts’ that may constitute this ground. They are:
- often now considered the ‘nice’ divorce.
- respondents admitting to adultery will not be penalised financially or otherwise.
- Unreasonable behaviour (most common ground for divorce today)
- the petition must contain a series of allegations proving that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her.
- the allegations may be of a serious nature (e.g. abuse or excessive drinking) but may also be mild such as having no common interests or pursuing a separate social life ; the courts won’t insist on severe allegations as they adopt a realistic attitude: if one party feels so strongly that a behaviour is “unreasonable” as to issue a divorce petition, it is clear that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and it would be futile to try to prevent the divorce. 
- Two years separation (if both parties consent)
- both parties must consent
- the parties must have lived separate lives for at least two years prior to the presentation of the petition
- this can occur if the parties live in the same household, but the petitioner would need to make clear in the petition such matters as they ate separately, etc.
- Two years desertion
- Five years separation (if only one party consents)
Uncontested divorce procedure
Here is a rough outline of the undefended divorce procedure from start to finish:
- Filing of Divorce Petition and if necessary Statement of Arrangements for the Children
- Documents issued by Court and posted to the Respondent
- Respondent returns Acknowledgement of Service to the Court (if he/she does not you will need to consider Bailiff Service, Deemed Service or other options)
- Petitioner completes Affidaviti in Support of Petition and Request for directions
- A Judge will then consider all the divorce papers and if he/she is satisfied issue a Certificate of Entitlement to a Decree and Section 41 Certificate (confirming he/she is content with arrangements for any children)
- Decree Nisi is granted
- Six weeks later the application can be made by the Petitioner for the Decree Absolute.
From beginning to end, if everything goes smoothly and Court permitting, it takes around 6 months.
Our Divorce and associated Family Matters are handled by:
- Linda Berry (Member of the Institute of Legal Executives)
Morley Brown & Co offer payment by instalment plans in appropriate cases. For a consultation, please use the Contact Form in the main menu and we will respond as soon as possible or telephone us on 01205 364986.