Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships and Same Sex Marriages

Divorce and Dissolution of a partnership can be one of the most stressful experiences in life. That’s why it’s imperative to take expert legal advice from our solicitors to attempt to reach an amicable solution. 

Helping you through a life changing event

Divorce

You can get a divorce in England or Wales if you have been married at least one year and your relationship has irretrievably broken down.
The marriage must be legally recognised in the UK and the parties must usually live in England or Wales.
When you apply for a divorce you will need to prove to the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order to do this, you will need to use one of five ‘facts’:
  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Separation of 2 years with the other person’s consent
  • Separation of 5 years without consent
  • Desertion

Your questions answered

  • This is applicable if your husband or wife has had sexual relations with someone else of the opposite sex. The law recognises the act of adultery as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.

    You will not be able to use adultery as a reason if you lived together with your husband or wife as a couple for six months after you found out about the adultery.

You can apply for a divorce if you’ve lived apart for more than two years and both agree to the divorce. Your husband or wife must provide consent in writing.

This is a very rare reason for divorce in recent years, but one that is still available.

You can use this fact to show the court your marriage has irretrievably broken down if your husband or wife has left you without any consultation or agreement, without reason and has left you for more than two years within the last two-and-a-half-year period. You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of six months in this period.

You can use this fact for divorce if your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them. The court will require information demonstrating a pattern of behaviour over time. The behaviour can include examples such as, physical violence, verbal abuse, drunkenness or drug-taking or refusing to contribute to the running of the household.

You can apply for a divorce if you’ve lived apart for at least five years, even if your husband or wife disagrees. They will not be required to consent to the proceedings.

Dissolution of Civil Partnerships and Same Sex Marriages

Our solicitors can provide you with advice and representation from the beginning of the partnership to the end covering all aspects including the registration process and dissolution. 
It’s essential to obtain sound professional advice when dealing with any relationship breakdown 

The terms of a Dissolution are similar to Divorce but with some subtle differences. If a couple has married, then a divorce will be required rather than a dissolution. 

You can apply for a ‘dissolution’ to end your Civil Partnership provided you have been in the partnership for a year. 

When you apply for a dissolution of your Civil Partnership you will need to prove to the court that the Civil Partnership has broken down. Desertion, unreasonable behaviour and two or five-year separation all count towards a relationship break down. 

The main difference between Civil Partnership dissolution and Divorce for same-sex couples is that the fact that Adultery is not available. 

Your questions answered

The law still defines Adultery as an act between a man and a woman, therefore, two people of the same sex cannot commit adultery. 

In this instance, being sexually unfaithful is simply evidence for unreasonable behaviour. 

This is a very rare fact to use, but it is still available legally. 

You’ll have to demonstrate to the court that your partner has left you without any consultation or agreement, without reason and has left you for more than two years within the last two-and-a-half-year period. 

Also, you can still claim desertion if you’ve lived together for up to six months in this period. 

Living apart for more than five years is usually enough to end a civil partnership, even if your civil partner disagrees. 

You can use this fact for dissolution if your partner has behaved so badly that you can no longer bear to live with them. 

The court will require evidence to support the application and this could include physical or mental cruelty, verbal or physical abuse, being sexually unfaithful and not contributing to the household running or finances. 

You can get a dissolution if you have lived apart for more than two years, and both agree to end the civil partnership. 

Your civil partner must agree in writing to end the civil partnership. 

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