- Unreasonable behaviour
- 2 Years separation with consent
- 5 Years separation
As of April, you’ll no longer have to prove one of these facts and either one of you can obtain a divorce by stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is commonly referred to as a ‘no fault’ divorce.
As at present you won’t be able to start a divorce until you’ve been married for at least 1 year, but after that period either one of you can start proceedings and the other party won’t be able to defend the action. It will also be possible to make a joint application if you and your spouse are in agreement. All applications will be dealt with online via the Government’s portal-HMCTS.
Some of the terminology is changing too. There will no longer be a Decree Nisi or Decree Absolute. Instead, there will be a Conditional Order and a Final Order. The whole process will take approximately 6 months although if Financial Orders are being sought you might be best to wait until you have a Financial Order before applying for the Final Order. We will be able to advise you on this.
Should I wait until April or start proceedings now?
Whether it is best to wait for the change in law or start proceedings immediately will largely depend on the circumstances of the breakdown of the marriage. If you would be relying on unreasonable behaviour, for example, you might feel that a more amicable way forward would be to wait until April when no such allegations will be needed. However, if your spouse has committed adultery and you are agreed that the marriage has broken down there might be no advantage in waiting. We can help you find the best way forward.
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