Divorce article by Dorset Solicitors

How to get a divorce?

| Published on March 12, 2015

So you think you might need a divorce?  There are still lots of common misconceptions about divorces. Firstly, there is only one ground for a divorce, which is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. But you need to prove that. There are 5 options to prove the irretrievable breakdown:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separation of 2 years, which both parties consent to
  • Separation of 5 years
  • Desertion

You cannot simply say that you have grown apart, or no longer love each other – you must fit into one of the above options. The majority of divorces are usually based on the first 3 options.   

Do you know that you can commit adultery even if you are separated? If you are still married, albeit separated from your spouse, and you have started a new relationship, you have committed adultery and that can be used to end the marriage by your spouse, even if it was not the original reason you had separated?

You also cannot start a divorce until you have been married a year.

The divorce process is fairly straight forward, and usually takes about 6 months or so.  Neither party needs to attend the court, nor is it a paper based process.

The divorce only dissolves the marriage; it does not end the financial claims that have arisen as a result of the marriage.  These need to be separately dismissed by the court.  If they are not, and perhaps the week after your Decree Absolute you win the lottery, your former spouse can come and claim a share. 

This is a common mistake.  Even if you have no assets now, you may do in the future, and you therefore need to enter into a clean break agreement so that no claim can be made against you in the future!   

If you would like to find out how to get a divorce, contact email Emma Benyon-Tinker, a divorce solicitor at Humphries Kirk

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