Divorce Information Discussed by Hurlows Family Law Solicitors in Cardiff
As there are a lot of steps and considerations to take during the divorce process, this can add to the stress of the entire situation. Often, it’s important to have clarity and guidance when facing a divorce. Speaking to a family law solicitor is one way to bring clarity and gain support during this difficult time. If you are not sure about the processes that are followed during the divorce process then continuing reading this article.
Hurlows Family Law Practice has specialised in family law for many years. If you are looking for advice regarding divorce or are looking for divorce solicitors in Cardiff then contact our team using a contact form on our website or telephone our team directly now on: 029 2039 6087
Checking You Are Eligible For a Divorce
It’s important to check that you are eligible for a divorce as you will not be able to go through with a divorce if you do not meet certain guidelines. If you’ve been married for at least a year and your relationship has permanently broken down then you are eligible for a divorce. The marriage itself (including same-sex marriages) must be legally recognised in the UK. If you do not meet the initial requirements or if you do not want to go through with a full divorce then there are other methods such as a legal separation or in some case an annulment of the marriage can be carried out. If you apply for a divorce then you also require grounds for a divorce.
Proving Grounds for a Divorce
When applying for a divorce, proof needs to be provided that your marriage has broken down. You will need to provide one or more of the following 5 grounds for divorce.
Adultery is where your husband or wife engaged in sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex (as the law dictates that adultery is the act of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.) You are unable to give adultery as a grounds for divorce if you stay together as a couple 6 months after you were made aware of adultery taking place.
Unreasonable behaviour is where your husband or wife have acted in a way which makes it unreasonable that you are to be expected to live with them. This may include abuse in the form of physical violence or verbal abuse and threats, being drunk or taking drugs and refusing to pay for housekeeping and other bills.
Desertion is where your husband or wife leaves you without agreement, to end the relationship, without a good reason to desert you or if they have deserted you for more than 2 years in the past 2 and a half years.
If you have separated for more than 2 years then you can divorce with your husband or wife’s agreement in writing. After being separated for at least 5 years you can divorce even if your husband or wife does not agree to this.
Applying For a Divorce
In order to apply for a divorce and to begin the process you will require the full name and address of your spouse with the original marriage certificate (with a proof of a name change if you have changed your name since marriage) You need to find your spouse’s current address if you do not know of their current address as the court will have to send them a copy of the divorce petition. You must pay a fee of £550 to apply for a divorce and you can apply online or by post. Via post a divorce petition or D8 is submitted to start a divorce. You can pay this via debit or credit card or by cheque (payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’)
Next Steps to Take in the Divorce Process
Once the application has been accepted then a notice is sent out as well as a copy of the application stamped by the divorce centre. Your husband or wife will be sent a copy of the application and an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form. The named person on an adultery application will also be sent a copy of the application and will be asked to respond. The acknowledgement of service asks if you want to defend the divorce or object to paying costs if you pay them and must be answered in 8 days. A decree nisi can be can be applied for if your husband or wife does not defend the divorce petition. You can still apply if they do not agree but you’ll have to go to court to gain the decree nisi. Applying for the decree nisi can be difficult and it’s highly advised to seek the advice of a solicitor if you have any questions or concerns about this process. Once you have filled in the application then you must also fill in a statement confirming your petition is true. The corresponding statement form (corresponding with your grounds for divorce) is sent with a copy of your husband or wife’s response to the petition. Once your application is accepted you have to wait 43 days before applying for a decree absolute that ends the marriage. If your application is rejected you will be advised on the next steps from the judge.
Decree Absolute – Ending the Marriage
To apply for the decree absolute, fill in the form which is labelled the ‘notice of application for decree nisi to be made absolute.’ Making the arrangements for dividing money and property must be applied to court and this is a situation in which a family law solicitor is highly recommended. If the time limits have been met and there is no reason not to grant the divorce then the decree absolute will be sent to both parties.
If you do require more information, we can advise you on aspects of the divorce as well as offer you guidance on making financial arrangements or arrangements for children then contact our team of family law solicitors in Cardiff today. Enquire online using a contact form on our website or telephone now on: 029 2039 6087