Navigating through a stressful divorce is difficult and, if the divorce is not handled properly, can often have an adverse impact on family relationships and personal finances. 

The legal grounds for divorce are that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for one of the reasons below:

  • Adultery: there is a specific legal definition for adultery; filing for Divorce on this ground requires the Petitioner to prove that their spouse had a sexual relationship with someone else.
  • Unreasonable behaviour: in legal terms, this can range from relatively harmless behaviour, which is nonetheless perceived by the petitioner to be unreasonable, to emotional or physical abuse.
  • Desertion: this is where the petitioner’s spouse has been absent for more than two years without the petitioner’s consent, or for no good reason.
  • Two years’ separation where both parties agree.
  • Five years separation (no agreement required).

An important part of the divorce process is the financial settlement. This is an agreement between the parties (or where the parties cannot agree, an order of the Court), specifying how the parties’ assets are to be divided. 

If the divorcing parties have minor children, then they will need to reach an agreement about who the children are to live with and what contact the other parent is to have. If agreement cannot be reached, then the Family Court will make a Child Arrangements Order.

Straightforward divorce proceedings where both parties agree to the divorce can be concluded in as little as six months. Where the parties do not agree, or where there are complex issues concerning children or financial settlements, then the proceedings can take significantly longer.

Demstone Chambers’ family law barristers are able help with any aspect of divorce and child contact disputes, including: submitting divorce petitions, advising on financial settlements, Mediation, and representation in the Family Court.  

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