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Can I Have a Divorce? York Local Link

Mar 21st, 2016

Mark Day, Partner and Head of Family Law

It goes without saying that a relationship breakdown is difficult enough without the prospect of flawed information.  Good advice and accurate information makes the process easier.  It is hoped that the following points will dispel some common myths.

  • No one can divorce until they have been married for at least a year.

  • It may be possible to “judicially separate” or in rare circumstances annul the marriage before 12 months have elapsed.

  • There is only one ground for divorce, that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However, that ground has to be supported by one of five facts:

  1. Adultery

  2. Unreasonable behaviour

  3. Desertion

  4. Parties have lived apart for more than 2 years and they both consent to the divorce

  5. Parties have lived apart for more than 5 years

  • You do not need your spouse’s permission if you wish to pursue a divorce based on adultery, unreasonable behaviour or five years separation.

  • Defended divorces are exceedingly rare.

  • The process for divorce is exceedingly straightforward.  The tricky bit tends to be resolving matters in relation to the children and/or the finances.

  • Couples do not automatically have to go to Court for a divorce.

  • It is very rare for the Court to require evidence supporting the “fault” based grounds for divorce.

Mark Day heads our team of family lawyers.  He has specialised in family law for almost 20 years.  He is a qualified Family Mediator and Collaborative lawyer.

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