Family law

What types of divorce are there?

While the result of a successful divorce process is that you are no longer married, there are a number of ways that divorce proceedings can be dealt with.

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What types of divorce are there?

The end result of every successful divorce is that you are no longer married, and are therefore free to marry someone else.

Having said that, there are many phrases which are used in connection with divorce, so it's as well to understand the different phrases, and the different challenges they present. Ultimately, there is only one way to issue divorce proceedings but different ways they can be dealt with. The different phrases are:

  • No-fault divorce
  • Uncontested divorce
  • Contested divorce

What is a no-fault divorce?

The government plans to reform the divorce process to remove the concept of fault and blame in attempt to reduce the conflict that the current divorce laws can sometimes lead to. However, this strictly 'no-fault' divorce is not yet available.

This means that you must still prove 'irretrievable breakdown' as the grounds for your divorce in England and Wales, for one of the following reasons:

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

Unreasonable behaviour: Where your spouse's behavior is so bad that no reasonable person could put up with it

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

When you have lived separate lives for more than two years: This enables you divorce if both parties agree

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

These last two options on the list don't require you to prove fault in your spouse, as long as you can prove that you have lived separate lives for the required periods.

What is an uncontested divorce?

While every divorce must cite one of the five reasons for irretrievable breakdown above, that doesn't mean every divorce has to be contested in court. When a respondent receives the divorce petition, they always have the option of simply accepting it, and signing the petition to indicate their agreement to the divorce process.

Uncontested divorces make up the vast majority of divorces in England and Wales, largely because they are less stressful and far less expensive than contested divorces. Even so, both parties in an uncontested divorce are advised to agree to a divorce financial settlement.

What is a contested divorce?

This is when one party will contest the divorce on the grounds that they don't believe the marriage has broken down irretrievably or that they disagree with the reason given for the divorce by the petitioner.

In these cases, both parties will usually have to give evidence in front of a judge, who will decide whether or not the Petitioner is entitled to be granted the divorce. It's worth bearing in mind that where a divorce is contested unsuccessfully, the Respondent may be made liable for the Petitioner's costs as well as their own.

Why choose Slater and Gordon's divorce lawyers?

Whatever type of divorce you wish to seek, it will generally be easier if you can rely on the guidance of an experienced family lawyer.

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 107 6495 or contact us online today and we will call you.

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