Family law

What types of divorce are there?

Whilst the divorce process can be complex dependant on your circumstances, the types of divorce and route you follow can be simplistic under no-fault divorce in England and Wales.

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What types of divorce are there?

You may've heard of reasons that spouses previously had to give to legally end their marriage.

However, it’s important to know that since the 6 April 2022 when the no-fault divorce was introduced, the reasons for separation, including adultery and unreasonable behaviour, became redundant. No-fault divorce, with a statement of irretrievable breakdown, is currently the only form of divorce in the UK, and the option to contest has been removed.

What is a no-fault divorce?

With the no fault divorce, there’s no option or requirement for blame to be assigned and irretrievable breakdown is the only ground for divorce. This relies on the submission of a statement of irretrievable breakdown.

Divorces can no longer be contested, although there are still some legal grounds on which the divorce can be challenged or disputed if required.

Before the introduction of the no fault divorce UK legislation, it was the case that irretrievable breakdown must be proved via one of five facts. These were:

Adultery: Where you must have provided proof that your spouse had sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex

Unreasonable behaviour: Where your spouse's behavior was so bad that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it

Desertion: Where your spouse had been absent for more than two years in the last two and a half years without good reason or your consent

When you'd lived separate lives for more than two years: This enabled you to divorce if both parties agreed

When youd lived separate lives for more than five years: This enabled you to divorce even if only one party wishes to divorce

The first two were fault-based, and therefore required the petitioner to prove that their spouse was at fault. However, with the no fault divorce, this element is removed to reduce the potential conflict that may arise from assigning blame.

You’re also able to apply for divorce jointly if you so wish.

What is an uncontested divorce?

Not every divorce has to be contested in court. When a respondent receives the divorce petition, they have the option of simply accepting it, and signing to indicate their agreement to the divorce process.

Most divorce in England and Wales are uncontested, providing a less stressful and more affordable option for both parties.

If you think this is the right route for you, we offer a competitively priced, fixed-fee divorce at just £540 plus £593 court fees.

What is a contested divorce?

Under the no-fault divorce, there is no longer an option to contest a divorce. Previously, one party could contest the divorce on the grounds that they don't believe the marriage had broken down irretrievably or that they disagreed with the reason given for the divorce by the petitioner.

In these cases, both parties would have to give evidence in front of a judge, who decided whether or not the petitioner is entitled to be granted the divorce.

Why choose Slater and Gordon's divorce lawyers?

With any divorce, it will generally be easier if you can rely on the guidance of an experienced family lawyer. We offer a 30 minute, fixed fee consultation at £99 to discuss your options and offer initial advice.

Our divorce experts have all the experience you need to support you throughout the process. Just as importantly, they are committed to minimising conflict and reducing court and legal costs wherever possible.

Call us now on 0330 041 5869 or contact us online today and we will call you.

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