Deciding to divorce will never be an easy one to make and you will undoubtedly have a variety of questions regarding next steps and the impact this will have for your future.
On 6th April 2022, the legislation regarding divorce changed meaning that couples are no longer required to apportion blame on to one party to seek a divorce.
Previously, the only ground for divorce in England and Wales was the “Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”, which was evidenced by one of five factors:
Under the new legislation, a couple does not need to use unreasonable behaviour or adultery as a reason for their marriage ending. The party who commences the divorce was known as the “Petitioner” and the party who receives the petition is the “Respondent”. Under the new legislation, the petitioner will now be called the “Applicant”. You must have been married for at least one year before you are permitted to petition for divorce.
Applying for a divorce under the new legislation will be as follows:
Pronouncement of the Final Order does not sever the financial claims married spouses have against each other for capital, income and pensions. Dismissal of claims can only be achieved by a Consent Order.
You can find out more about the new legislation in our latest article; Divorce in 2022 – what is a no fault divorce.
At Parker Bullen, all our Family Solicitors have experience in acting for Petitioners (now Applicants) and Respondents in all the divorce options.
We offer a free no obligation initial consultation. Taking legal advice at an early stage can often avoid potential pitfalls and can enable you to resolve matters sooner.
In cases where a married couple are not able to commence divorce proceedings immediately or where feel divorce is not the most suitable option or you have not been married for at least a year, you can enter into a Separation Agreement.
This is a written agreement which you both sign, setting out your financial settlement. Unlike a Consent Order, a Separation Agreement is not 100% legally binding as it is not considered by the Court and approved in the same way as a Consent Order. Where a Separation Agreement exists the burden of trying to convince a Court to depart from, it rests with the spouse wishing to challenge and override it.
A Separation Agreement will be given weight by a Court if at the time it was entered into by the parties:-
A Separation Agreement can record the date of separation upon which you agree and provision can be included for either party to Petition for divorce in due course, after the requisite separation period.
We offer a free no obligation initial consultation. Taking legal advice at an early stage can often avoid pitfalls and can enable you to resolve matters sooner.