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Divorce

Divorce & Family Disputes

There is only one ground for divorce in English Law. It is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

The current law is over 30 years old. It was a compromise between those who wanted divorce made more difficult and those who thought that giving a swift burial to a dead marriage would lead to an earlier return to happiness for all members of the family.

Currently, therefore, as well as showing the marriage has broken down, a person wanting a divorce has to show one or more of five so-called 'Facts'. Put briefly they are that the other person has committed adultery, behaved intolerably, deserted the person asking for the divorce for 2 or more years, lived apart from the person wanting the divorce for at least two years where the other person agrees to the divorce, or lived apart from the person wanting a divorce for 5 years or more. This is almost always a paper exercise taking something in the region of 5 months or so depending on the co-operation of the other person and the work-load of the Court.

The cost of an undefended divorce is in the region of 700 of which 250 or so goes to the Government for VAT and Court fees.

New laws were to have been introduced by the Family Law Act l996 but these have been scrapped.

N.B. for information only - this guide does not replace the advice of a solicitor.



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