DIVORCE / DISSOLUTION / NULLITY / SEPARATION
What is a Divorce?
In England you can only divorce if you have been married for at least one year and you must be able to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Irretrievable breakdown must be demonstrated by either:
- Unreasonable behaviour
You and your spouse will need to resolve how you will split your finances and assets. You will also need to decide how you will look after your children if you have any.
A divorce may be straightforward, with both parties agreeing to the split and without issues relating to finances or children.
However, usually there are complications involved in making arrangements for the children, deciding how to distribute the property and arranging maintenance payments (where relevant) and it is highly recommended that you get in touch with an experienced solicitor to inform you of your entitlement and to help you reach a settlement.
What is Dissolution?
Dissolution is similar to a divorce but relates to the ending of a civil partnership of a same sex couple.
What is Nullity?
A marriage or civil partnership can be annulled if it is decided by the court that it is void or voidable.
An annulment can be issued by the court in certain circumstances including:
- One or both of the people in the relationship are under the age of 16
- The people in the relationship are related
- One or both of the people in the relationship were already married or in a civil partnership
- One or both people did not consent
- The marriage was never consumated
- One or both people were suffering from a mental disorder
- One or both people were suffering from a venereal disease
- One person was pregnant by another person
- Gender recognition issues
- The people were not of different genders
You will need to appoint a solicitor to apply for an annulment as the process is not as straight forward as applying for a divorce or dissolution. Both parties will need to attend a court hearing.
What is Separation?
Separation is simply a matter of fact, however, in some relationship breakdowns a Separation Agreement is helpful to record what is agreed about money or children whether on a short term basis pending divorce or dissolution or by way of a permanent settlement.
Alternatively, you may seek a decree of Judicial Separation from the Court. This involves the same procedure as for divorce or civil partnership dissolution. The essential difference is that the relationship is not terminated in law.
How do I deal with my relationship breakdown?
How you engage in relationship breakdown is a highly personal choice. What is right for one person may not be right for another.
We will help you decide:
- whether you should stay married or in a civil partnership
- whether you should take steps to end it
- how you should go about it
- would counselling help
- how does mediation work
- are we likely to resolve the issues using Collaborative Law
- how will it leave you financially
JWK can help you. Get in touch today
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Michele Wright qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and has specialised in family law work for most of the time since qualification. She has been a member for many years of the Law... Read more
The figures, released by the government, cover the period up to 31 March this year.