When a Marriage breaks down most couples will file for a divorce, though there are other options such as a separation agreement. But what does that entail? Here is a brief guide on divorce.

When filing for divorce you are stating that the relationship has irretrievably broken down, and you must prove this by showing one of five things:

  1. That your spouse has committed adultery.
  2. That your spouse had behaved unreasonably.
  3. That your spouse has deserted you for a period of two years.
  4. That you and your spouse have been separated for two years and your spouse consents to a divorce.
  5. That you and your spouse have been separated for 5 years.

Usually a divorce will take place when one party will file a divorce petition with the court.

The court will then send a copy to the other party, along with an acknowledgement form for them to complete and return to the court stating whether or not they intend to defend the divorce.

If they do not defend, then the petitioner can apply for the divorce to proceed.

If there are no problems, the court will fix a date for the pronouncement of the decree nisi.

Six weeks after the decree nisi the petitioner can apply for the decree absolute. Again, if there are no problems, the court will send a copy of the decree absolute to each party.

It is normally possible for the divorce to go through without anyone having to attend the court.

Though this breakdown sounds easy, the hard part is usually through the sorting of financial/property settlement, such as what is to happen to what was the matrimonial home, the division of money and property, whether one party needs to pay maintenance to the other etc.

If these things cannot be settled through agreement then you or your former spouse may apply to court, for them to sort this out accordingly. When going through this route both parties will have to disclose full details of their means, so the court can separate them as appropriate.