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Divorce Guide

The newspapers are always reporting on ‘quick divorces’, however, they are a myth. In the UK there is currently no such thing as a quick no fault divorce. Until the UK brings in planned new divorce legislation, if you want to start divorce proceedings you have to be able to show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down due to:

  • Unreasonable behaviour; or
  • Adultery; or
  • Two years separation with consent; or
  • Five years separation; or
  • Desertion.

To speak to a member of the London based OTS Solicitors divorce team about starting divorce proceedings please call us on 0203 959 9123 for an initial discussion about how solicitor, Behzad Sharmin and the team can help you. If you prefer you can contact us through our online enquiry form.

What is unreasonable behaviour?

When it comes to starting divorce proceedings what is ‘unreasonable behaviour’ is a very good question. Often a husband or wife is reluctant to agree to London divorce solicitors starting divorce proceedings because of their unreasonable behaviour. That is because they think that the divorce petition may reflect badly on them or the contents of the divorce petition might affect the childcare arrangements for their children or the financial settlement.

These common misconceptions about unreasonable behaviour divorce petitions can make what started out as a relatively amicable split between a husband and wife turn very sour. If that happens then it increases the likelihood of expensive financial and children court proceedings as conflict can escalate.

Furthermore, an acrimonious separation can be counterproductive if you need your spouse to cooperate with you on an immigration application or to continue to work with you in a family business until the divorce is completed.

With early expert divorce advice from top London divorce solicitors a husband or wife can agree to the start of divorce proceedings on the basis of unreasonable behaviour because:

  • The allegations of unreasonable behaviour do not have to be extreme;
  • A husband or wife can decide not to oppose the unreasonable behaviour divorce  but say in the divorce paperwork that they do not accept the allegations and will challenge the allegations of unreasonable behaviour if they are raised in any subsequent financial court proceedings or applications about the custody of or access to the children;
  • London divorce solicitors can prepare a draft unreasonable behaviour divorce petition for consideration by the other spouse so that, if appropriate, any particularly upsetting allegations can be removed or rephrased.

Should a husband or wife start the divorce proceedings?

Sometimes a husband or wife will rush to start divorce proceedings because they believe that they will be at an advantage if they petition for divorce. If a husband or wife starts divorce proceedings without first talking to their spouse this can lead to animosity, making it harder for the couple to agree on a financial settlement or parenting arrangements.

However, it is sometimes vital that one party starts the divorce proceedings. That is why it is important to get the best London divorce solicitor’s advice on whether you should start the divorce proceedings because:

  • There may be more than one choice of country in which you or your spouse could start the divorce. It may be in your interests to start the divorce  in the country that your expert divorce solicitor recommends in order to get the best financial settlement;
  • If you are applying for immigration visas, you may need to start the divorce proceedings to support your immigration application;
  • Whoever starts the divorce proceedings is normally able to dictate how quickly or slowly it takes to complete the divorce;
  • Whoever starts the divorce may be able to ask the divorce court to order that the spouse replying to the divorce petition pay their divorce costs.

How long does a divorce take?

A divorce normally takes about 4 to 6 months. In some family situations a husband or wife may be advised by a top London divorce solicitor to hold off applying for the decree absolute. That is one of the reasons why it is important to get legal advice from a London divorce solicitor before starting or completing the divorce proceedings.

If you do not live in England can you get divorced in England?

Potentially a husband or wife can get divorced in England even if they do not live in England.

There are complex jurisdiction rules for starting divorce proceedings in England. That is why it is vital to take top London divorce solicitor’s advice if there is possibility that you could start the divorce in more than one country , for example if one of you lives abroad , or one or both of you has foreign or dual nationality or property or links overseas.

The decision about where to start the divorce proceedings can have a big impact on the financial settlement. It therefore pays to get the best London divorce solicitor’s advice before your husband or wife starts divorce proceedings in a jurisdiction that does not favour you.

If you are not a British citizen can you get divorced in England?

Potentially a husband or wife can start divorce proceedings in England if one or both of them are not British citizens.

Whether you can start divorce proceedings all depends on a complex legal concept called “habitual residence”. It is sensible to take expert legal advice from a top London divorce solicitor on whether it is in your interests to start divorce proceedings in England and the timing of any divorce. This is really important as the decisions you make about starting divorce proceedings could affect your immigration status and any current or future immigration applications.

Can we get divorced if custody of the children is not agreed?

If a couple cannot agree on the parenting arrangements then either one of them can make an application to court for a child arrangements order. The application can be made before or after the divorce proceedings are started or completed.

The divorce court can finalise the divorce proceedings before any final decisions are made about how much time each parent spends with their children.

We cannot agree a financial settlement so can we still get divorced?

The divorce court can grant a divorce even if no financial agreement has been reached.

In some cases, the best London divorce solicitor’s advice is to delay finalising the divorce proceedings until a financial settlement is reached because of the potential financial prejudice of finishing the divorce proceedings without a financial agreement or court order.

As the personal and financial circumstances of every family are different it is important to get advice before finalising the divorce proceedings if you petitioned for divorce or before you complete the acknowledgement form if you are the respondent to the divorce petition.

I have received a divorce petition. What should I do?

If you have received divorce papers then court rules say that you must send a response to the court within 7 days. You therefore need to contact OTS Solicitors for help in completing the acknowledgement of service form.

OTS divorce solicitors 

For expert legal advice on UK divorce and family law, contact OTS London divorce solicitors today for an informal chat on how London divorce solicitor, Behzad Sharmin, and the dedicated divorce team can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 and let us help you. Alternatively, contact us using our online enquiry form.

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