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When Can I Get a Divorce?

A marriage is a legally binding relationship, so if a couple no longer wants to be part of that relationship, they will need to consider getting divorced to break the legal ties to their spouse. The same is true of civil partnerships.

To get a divorce, or dissolve a partnership, you need to have been married or civil partners for twelve months or more and be certain that your marriage or civil partnership has "irretrievably broken down".

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Until recently, to divorce, it has been necessary to prove the above by relying on one of 5 “facts” which include: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion of 2 years, 2 years separation with consent or 5 years separation. (Please note that civil partners cannot rely upon adultery should they wish to dissolve their civil partnership).

However as of 6th April 2022, it is open to parties, pursuant to The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, to apply to divorce or to dissolve a civil partnership on the basis of irretrievable breakdown in the absence of demonstrating fault. It is further open to parties to apply jointly or independently to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership.

After a period of 20 weeks from the date the application for divorce (or dissolution) is issued, it will be possible to apply for a conditional divorce (or dissolution) order – formerly decree nisi within divorce proceedings (on the basis the Respondent has been given notice of the divorce proceedings and been served within 28 days of the above date). Upon a conditional divorce (or dissolution) order being granted, it will be possible for either party to apply for a final divorce (or dissolution) order – formerly decree absolute within divorce proceedings.

Can I Get My Marriage Annulled?

Under certain circumstances you may be able to have your marriage annulled.

You must apply to annul the marriage within a reasonable period, which in some cases will be three years.

There is no requirement to have been married for twelve months.

Reasons for seeking an annulment of your marriage are:

  • The marriage has not been consummated
  • At the time of marriage, your spouse was already married to someone else
  • One of you was under the age of 16 when you got married
  • You have married a close relative
  • Your spouse had a venereal disease at the time of marriage and did not disclose this to you
  • Your spouse was pregnant with another person's child at the time of the marriage and did not disclose this to you

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How we can help

At Parfitt Cresswell, we understand that divorce can be a difficult time for all involved.

Our experienced family law team are here to support and advise you throughout the divorce process, as well as offering you information about alternative resolution options.

We can also help you with the financial aspects of a marriage breakdown and with any issues relating to your children.

Choosing the right legal team is key to your emotional and financial future. This is why we are offering you a complimentary, no-obligations, initial consultation with one of our experienced legal experts to discuss your situation and provide you with a general overview of what your options are.

Call us today on 0800 999 4437.

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