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Guide to Divorce in the UK – First Step for a Better You

Divorce can be the most emotionally straining and stressful time in any person’s life. Here at Kew Law, we will take as much of the stress from you as possible and allow you to focus on what matters in your life, whether that be your children or moving on from your marriage breakdown.

When can you get a divorce?

Under the law you must have first been married for a period of one year and a day before you apply for a divorce. This is known as the, ‘Year Bar’. Your marriage must be, ‘valid’ and be a registered marriage within the UK. When making an application for divorce you must provide us with your original or certified copy of your Marriage Certificate.

What are the Grounds for Divorce?

There is one ground for divorce and that is the ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’, whereupon you must rely on one of five factors:-

Adultery;
Unreasonable Behaviour;
Desertion;
Two Year Separation with Consent; and
Five Year Separation

Many people understand what Adultery entails. The law states that your spouse must have had voluntary sexual intercourse with the opposite sex that isn’t their spouse. Therefore, this does not apply for same sex couples. The difficulty with adultery is that you must be aware and/or informed that your spouse has committed adultery. In addition, you must find your spouse’s adultery “intolerable” and therefore you must have separated within six months of being informed and/or aware of the last event adultery.

Unreasonable behaviour is the most common factor that individuals rely on when considering divorce. To satisfy this particular factor you must show that your spouse’s behaviour is intolerable to live with.

Unreasonable Behaviour can encumbrance many forms of behavior and Kew Law LLP can draft the unreasonable behavior examples within your petition for you.
Desertion is rare in practice and rarely relied on. To satisfy desertion you must show that you are unable to locate you spouse. This is made more difficult due to the popularity of Social Network, such as Facebook. However, if you are not able to locate your spouse for a period of two years then you may be able to rely on desertion.

How long do I have to be separated before I can divorce?

For couples that have been separated for a long period of time and do not wish to rely on the ‘fault based’ factors mentioned above, parties could rely on two year separation with consent. To satisfy this particular factor you must prove that you have lived independently from your spouse for over a period of two years. Your spouse would need to consent to the divorce proceeding on the basis of two years’ separation by consent.

Five years’ separation is similar to two year separation, as you must prove that you have lived independently and separately for a period of five years, however, you do not require your spouse’s consent to rely on this factor.

How much does a divorce cost?

Kew Law LLP offers a fixed fee to act on your behalf in divorce proceedings, where those proceedings are not defended and/or unduly delayed. If you are the Petitioner i.e. making the application for a divorce, we will only charge you £500 plus VAT, in addition to the Court fee of £550 that is required when issuing your application for divorce.
If you are the Respondent i.e. you are the other spouse and have received divorce documentation from the Family Court, we will only charge you £350 plus VAT. There is no Court fee needed.

What do I do next?

Please contact us on 0800 987 8156 to speak to a friendly member of our Family Department for any other questions that you may have on divorce, or to make an appointment at one of our offices to go through further the process of obtaining a divorce.

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