Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
Here is some basic information, which we hope you will find helpful:
The process for obtaining a divorce/dissolution follows a number of stages:
- Issue of Petition
- Decree Nisi or Conditional Order
- Decree Absolute or Final Order
Getting to the Decree Nisi is, generally, fairly straightforward and quick.
To grant a divorce, the Court simply requires to be satisfied that the marriage is irretrievably over.
This can be established by one of five grounds:
- Unreasonable behaviour. (Beware! The Court requires genuinely unreasonable behaviour – not just squeezing the middle of the toothpaste tube….).
- Adultery (applies to divorce but not dissolution of civil partnerships).
- Two years’ separation with consent.
- Five years’ separation without consent.
- Two years' desertion.
Once service of the Petition on the spouse is proved, and as long as no defence is lodged, the Court will grant a Decree Nisi as a paper exercise.
This is the first step on the way to divorce – which will not be complete until the Decree Absolute has been granted.
In the simplest of cases a Decree Absolute can also be obtained as a paper exercise six weeks after the Decree Nisi has been granted.
Generally, it is advisable to deal with financial issues before applying for a Decree Absolute and an agreement or Court Order settling finances between you is often just as important as the divorce itself. Find out more information on financial settlements.
Only after Decree Absolute are you free to remarry.
The divorce itself is (usually) the easy bit. The headaches are most likely to arise regarding finances and children.