The stress and commitment required by armed forces personnel can put added stress on a relationship, which in turn can lead to spouses separating. Sadly, for many the damage is irreparable, and often ends in break-up and divorce.

Veterans can also be affected by a breakdown of marriage albeit for different reasons, such as being unable to adapt to their new in life out of uniform or having issues arising from PTSD.

There is often a misconception that individuals can file for divorce on the basis of ‘irreconcilable differences’. This is not a ground for divorce in England and Wales. The No Fault Divorce could become a reality soon, but at the moment, there is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales and that is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This has to be proved in one of five ways, either:-

  1. Adultery,
  2. Behaviour – such that it is unreasonable to remain together;
  3. Desertion after a period of 2 years,
  4. 2 years’ separation with the other party’s consent; or
  5. 5 years’ separation without consent.

The process of a divorce can be set out simply in the following 6 stages:-

  1. One party, the Petitioner, files a petition with the court.
  2. The Court will issue and serve the divorce papers on the other party, known as the Respondent.
  3. The Respondent replies to the Petition by completing an Acknowledgement of Service.
  4. The Petitioner will then apply for the Decree Nisi.
  5. The Decree Nisi is pronounced in open court, no one need attend.
  6. 6 weeks later the Petitioner applies for the Decree Nisi to be made Absolute and the marriage is then over.

If someone is experiencing a relationship breakdown, it is important that they seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. This is where Maxwell Hodge Solicitors can help, we have a dedicated family team who have experience in assisting Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans.

If you need advice and assistance, please contact one of our offices listed below to arrange an appointment.

Aintree – 0151 526 9321

Formby – 01704 872156

Heswall – 0151 342 6447

Huyton – 0151 489 6161

Kirkby – 0151 548 7370

Maghull – 0151 526 7131

West Kirby – 0151 625 9254

Woolton – 0151 421 2400