So, I have to wait two years to get an amicable divorce?

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When applying for a divorce in England and Wales you have to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You do this by giving one of five reasons:

  • Your husband or wife had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex.
  • Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
  • You have lived apart from your husband or wife for more than two years and you both agree to a divorce
  • You have lived apart from your husband or wife for at least five years
  • You have been deserted by your husband or wife for more than two years

It is quite common for couples who have decided to separate to be under the misconception that the only way they can get a divorce amicably is to wait until they have been separated for more than two years.The reason for this is that to get a divorce before then involves one party having to place the blame for the breakdown of the marriage squarely on the other party as a result of their adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

As members of Resolution, the family team at Longmores aim to deal with matters as amicably as possible so as to ensure that minimal tension arises between the parties. No matter what fact you choose to rely on, communication can always help matters progress more amicably. Therefore, those considering initiating divorce proceedings should be safe in the knowledge that it is possible to try and move forward on an immediate basis, whilst maintaining a civil relationship with your husband or wife.

In an attempt to deal with matters as amicably as possible, we will be able to recommend that you take certain steps to try and achieve this, which may involve some direct discussions with your husband or wife, the writing of constructive correspondence and careful drafting when it comes to the preparation of the petition.

This said, there are a multitude of reasons aside from maintaining relationships that may affect a decision as to when a party issues divorce proceedings. For example, if there is an international element to your case, involving more than one EU country, then urgent steps may need to be taken to apply for a divorce. In this situation, where the divorce is first issued, is where it [the divorce] will be dealt with. You should not underestimate the difference in financial outcomes between England and Wales and other EU countries.

If you need advice or assistance regarding this issue or any Family Law matter, then please contact Tracey Dargan, a Partner and Head of our Family team.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.