The basics of the Divorce Procedure

By: Clairmont Oakeson

Regardless of whether a marriage ends well, with both parties involved in a relatively agreeable state, or poorly, more often resulting in a bitter dispute, a wedded couple looking to separate will probably want to get a divorce.

It's worth noting that there are a few conditions that have to be met if a married couple are to get a divorce. Provided they have been married for at least a year, the marriage is recognised legally in the United Kingdom, and the couple have a home - one that's permanent in either England or Wales - they can apply for a divorce.

There are a number of ways in which either party in a marriage arrangement can go about getting a divorce. However, in most circumstances there are just the three major steps involved in actually pushing the divorce through.

The first involves the filing of the divorce petition. In order to do this either party in the marriage has to display the reasons why, to a court, they're seeking to get a divorce.

A couple of the reasons given to a court are particularly common.

For example, the marriage could have broken down as a result of an act of adultery by the other person. The relationship could have deteriorated as a result of behaviour that might be considered unreasonable; interestingly these actions don't necessarily have to be too severe to be considered unreasonable.

Additionally, though, a married person might put forward that they've been deserted for two years by their spouse; or that they've been living apart for over of period of two years. In the latter situation the other spouse will need to seek consent to get a divorce.

However, if the couple have been living apart for five years or more, no consent is required for a divorce to be applied for.

Although not always the case, if both parties are in agreement and want a separation to go ahead, they'll receive a decree nisi. Essentially an interim order, the decree nisi displays that the court recognises and is satisfied that the marriage is beyond retrieval, and that the divorce can go ahead.

Once the decree nisi has been made, the party applying for the separation can then go about applying for a decree nisi absolute (also commonly referred to simply as a decree absolute). A period of six weeks and a day has to pass before it can be applied for, but once it has been applied for the marriage can be terminated.

If you've followed celebrity divorces you'll know that the procedure can take a considerable amount of time; in the majority of examples a divorce can be completed in between four and six months. If the other party in the marriage doesn't wish to defend against the divorce, this period of time largely involves a number of administrative processes.

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Though the divorces of celebrity couples often seem like incredibly bitter disputes played out in the media, standard divorces are often more civilised - though this isn't always the case, and as such as specialist divorce solicitor might be required. A divorce can often seem like a complex procedure, and sometimes it is. This article, however, details the basic processes involved in the general procedure.

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