The divorce solicitors at Richard Nelson LLP have years of experience handling divorce proceedings in a sensitive, professional manner. It is our priority to ensure that you have the legal support necessary to put this difficult time behind you.
How our Divorce Solicitors can help
Filing for divorce is often the last step after a separating couple have considered long and hard as to whether the marriage is over. It often follows a trial period of separation or marriage counselling.
In other cases, the decision to divorce does not have to be made jointly; the step can be taken when one party decides that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
To commence a divorce, you have to satisfy some criteria:
- You must have been married for over a year;
- Your marriage must be legally recognised;
- You must meet the jurisdictional requirements to file a divorce.
Our divorce solicitors will talk you through your options if you satisfy the above criteria and want to go ahead with divorce proceedings.
Jurisdictional terms for divorce
Two legal terms are used when setting out the jurisdictional requirements for divorce:
- Habitually resident
Habitual residence is determined from your circumstances and is directed to a person’s ‘fixed centre of interest’ rather than the length of residence. A person can only have one habitual residence at a time.
There are three categories of domicile and a person may acquire, and lose, any of the three types:
- Domicile of Origin – Everyone acquires domicile of origin at birth. If the parents are married then this is the father’s domicile at the time that you were born and if the parents are not married then this is the mother’s domicile at the time that you were born.
- Domicile of Choice – After the age of 16 you may acquire domicile of choice but you must be resident in a country other than your domicile of origin and have an intention to remain there permanently.
- Domicile of Dependence – This applies to those who are under 16 years of age. Therefore, a person is if under 16 and their parents are unmarried then, as above, it shall be the father’s domicile and, if unmarried, it shall be the mother’s. If the parents separate then the child shall acquire the domicile of the parent with whom they live.
Given the above, the following jurisdictional requirements must be met to file for a divorce in England and Wales:
- Both parties to the divorce are habitually resident here
- Both parties to the divorce were last habitually resident here and one of them still resides here, or
- The respondent is habitually resident here; or
- The applicant is habitually resident if he or she resided here for at least a year immediately before the application was made, or
- The applicant is domiciled if he or she resided here for at least 6 months immediately before the application was made; or
- You are both domiciled here.
If none of the above apply and no court of another EU state has jurisdiction, either of the parties must be domiciled in England and Wales on the date when the proceedings are begun.
Grounds for divorce
There is only one ground on which a petition for divorce may be presented to the court by either party of the marriage and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
The person applying for the divorce is known as the Petitioner and the person who receives the divorce petition is the Respondent
Five facts (grounds) to prove that the marriage has broken down
Richard Nelson LLP’s divorce solicitors will help you understand whether or not you have legal grounds for divorce. There are five facts (grounds) that you can rely upon to prove to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down:
- Adultery – That the Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent.
- Unreasonable behaviour – That the Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent.
- Desertion – That the Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least 2 years.
- 2 years’ separation & consent – That the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years and the Respondent consents to the divorce.
- 5 years’ separation – The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 5 years.
These grounds are self-explanatory however they can be complicated if the parties reconciled after the occurrence of the facts.
More information on divorce law
Richard Nelson LLP’s divorce solicitors have extensive knowledge across all areas of divorce law. They have written a number of articles on specific topics to provide information that we hope you will find helpful during this period.
- What am I entitled to in a divorce settlement?
- How to protect your pension in a divorce
- Family court definitions
- Lottery winnings & divorce
- Paternity & Declaration of Parentage in family law
Find a divorce lawyer near you
Our team of family and divorce solicitors includes lawyers based across the country. We’re happy to work with anyone in any location, though we appreciate that many people prefer a more local contact in this difficult time. To help you choose the solicitor that is most convenient for you, take a look below to see where our family solicitors are based.
Get in touch
For more information about the services we can provide and about how we can help you and your business, contact us.
Consultant Legal Executive
Consultant Legal Executive
What we do...
Advice on your grounds for divorce
Compassionate assistance throughout your divorce proceedings