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.
The divorce expertise you need
Talk to a family law expert todayContact us
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.
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?
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.
Prices quoted on this page include VAT.
The best solicitors to fight your corner! I struggled with a nasty unmarried couple dispute alone for over a year before biting the bullet and paying for proper legal support. I had one previous experience with a cheaper less well known solicitor and I just felt completely let down and not a priority. But with S&G - from start to finish, I felt supported 100% and valued. B L (family and personal matters case)
Matters were dealt with efficiently with a view to keeping costs to a realistic level and I am well satisfied with the final settlement she managed to achieve on my behalf. J B (family and personal matters case)
For anyone needing help with family issues I could not recommend Slater and Gordon highly enough. I always had the feeling I had the best looking after my interests and they certainly didn't disappoint. C I (family and personal matters case)