Divorce- you are not alone

Divorce. Sounds scary. Sounds final. But for some women, the best way forward.

Women in their 40’s have enough stress as it is, children, work, health, you name it we’ve got it! But for some,  an added one can be their relationship with their spouse.

Formalising the termination of a relationship, in other words, getting a divorce or separation, doesn’t have to be a daunting and scary task. If you know the basics, it is much easier to manage, and less stressful to talk about, and in fact formalise.

Most women, will think about separation or termination of their marriage at least a few times in their marriage, for various different reasons. Those that decide there is no other way forward, even after a separation, will need to think about getting a divorce.

Suffice to say, you are not alone. According to the Office of National Statistics (18 October 2017), there were 106,959divorces of opposite-sex couples.

Marriages of same-sex couples first took place on 29 March 2014 and as such the first divorces recorded between same-sex couples were in 2015. Nicola Haines, Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, Office for National Statistics comments in relation to women, “ Our latest marriage figures show that of the 4,850 marriages formed between same-sex couples in 2014, 56% were female couples. In 2016, there were 112 divorces among same-sex couples, with female couples accounting for 78% of these.”

So, what are the reasons for divorce, and what do you have to ‘prove’?

Firstly, to get a divorce in England or Wales, you must have a marriage that is legally recognised in the UK and be married for more than one year.  You must then be able to show that the marriage has permanently broken down.  In a nutshell, grounds for divorce that show permanent and irretrievable breakdown can be any of the following;


Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live together.

Unreasonable Behaviour

Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live together.

Two-Year Separation with Consent

You have been separated for 2 years and your spouse agrees to divorce.

Five-Year Separation 

You have been separated for 5 years.


Your spouse deserted you more than 2 years ago.

Some of the grounds are a little easier to prove than others and will of course depend upon your own personal marital relationship. Your legal adviser will be able to help and guide you through these grounds and establish what is the best one to use in your particular case.

Once the paperwork is completed, your Divorce Petition along with the divorce fee will be sent to the Court.  Once checked by the Court, they will issue the Petition and send it to your spouse.  Your spouse will then have to complete the Acknowledgment of Service Form, to confirm they have received the divorce paperwork and confirm whether they agree with the divorce proceedings, or whether they intend to defend the divorce.

If undefended, the next step will be to apply for the Decree Nisi, which in effect is asking the court to consider all the documentation submitted in support of your divorce. If everything is in order, and your Decree Nisi is granted, this essentially means the Court has granted you an entitlement to a divorce.

You can then apply for the Decree Absolute. This is the final step to dissolve the marriage and can only be done six weeks and one day after the Decree Nisi is granted. It therefore, gives you some time to be absolutely certain that you want to terminate the marriage.

There will undoubtedly, be other things to think about during the course of the divorce proceedings, for example, arrangements for looking after any children, child maintenance for the children and/or the division of money and property. I will endeavour to touch upon those things in separate articles.

I would like to reiterate that you are not alone!

For readers and subscribers of the Latte Lounge, I run a free telephone consultation clinic (limited to 20 minutes). Please email me on Shahzeat@duncanlewis.comto arrange a consultation about your divorce, separation or any other family law related issues.

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