Going through divorce proceedings can be extremely stressful, especially if there are children involved. The specialist family law team at Stuart Gordon are on hand to provide support and legal guidance throughout, combining a compassionate and sympathetic approach with pragmatic and strategic thinking to ensure that your interests are best represented.
Before a divorce is granted, the court must be satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage can be shown using one or more of the following five reasons:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Two years' separation with the consent of both spouses
- Five years’ separation if both spouses do not consent to the divorce
Divorce can be straightforward if both parties agree that the marriage is over and should come to an end. However, difficulties arise in resolving how and when to separate, where to live, and the arrangements for children and finances.
What are the names used to identify the parties in divorce proceedings?
For the purposes of the divorce proceedings, the party who issues the Petition for divorce is known as the Petitioner. The spouse who receives the divorce proceedings is known as the Respondent.
Does it make a difference if I am the Petitioner or the Respondent in divorce proceedings?
Which party is the Petitioner and which is the Respondent does not hold a great deal of importance, so spending time worrying about this isn't advisable as this can be time-consuming and expensive. It is better to focus on the proceedings themselves as these are how you and your ex-spouse will be able to sort out the important matters that will arise from the end of your marriage. These will include arrangements for how your children will be cared for following your divorce and the reaching of a financial settlement.
What happens once the Petitioner has initiated divorce proceedings?
The court will then issue the Petition and send to the Respondent – this marks the start of the divorce proceedings. The Respondent must complete an Acknowledgement of Service and indicate whether they intend to accept or defend the proceedings.
The Petitioner must complete a statement in support of the divorce and submit this along with an application for a Decree Nesi. This is a document issued by the court stating that there are no reasons why the couple cannot divorce. No decision on a financial settlement can be made until the Decree Nesi is pronounced.
Once a financial settlement has been reached between the parties, an application can be made for a Decree Absolute. The earliest this can be made is six weeks after the Decree Nesi has been pronounced.
With the hope of making the divorce process more collaborative, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill was reintroduced to Parliament at the beginning of 2020. Click here to read more about the possibility of a no-fault divorce in England.
Contact Stuart Gordon, Financial Settlement Solicitors in Leeds, West Yorkshire
Whatever your circumstances, we are here to help. We have many years of experience advising a wide range of clients confidentially and professionally at every stage of the divorce process, helping them to protect their position and preserve their assets. Speak to one of our friendly and approachable solicitors today to find out how we can help.