Going through a Divorce can be extremely stressful. Here are 5 top tips to consider when considering a Divorce.
- Sufficient grounds?
To be able to divorce, you must be able to establish one of the 5 grounds for divorce:
- Separation with Consent after 2 years
- Separation without Consent after 5 years
- Desertion after 2 years.
The majority of Divorces that come before the Court do so on the grounds of behaviour. However, following the recent ruling in the case of Owens v Owens, a lot more couples are having to remain married because the threshold for behaviour seems to be much higher than before. No fault Divorce cases then result in the parties having to wait 2 years before proceeding.
- Provide the marriage certificate.
All petitions should be filed with the original marriage certificate, or a copy obtained from Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Please note in cases involving a marriage abroad, in addition to the marriage certificate a certified English translation will also be required, so getting these documents early is essential.
- Let it go through.
Respondent’s to a Divorce petition may wish to defend a petition on the basis that they don’t agree what their ex-partner has said about them. However, defending a petition can be costly and cause delay to the process. This is unnecessary where both parties are wanting the Divorce. In those cases, the Respondent can indicate that they do not agree with the particulars but that they do not defend the case. This lets the judge know their position but allows the Divorce to proceed.
- If costs are claimed, beware.
Provision is made within the petition for the Petitioner to be able to apply for a Costs Order against the Respondent. Often, this can go unnoticed until the Court has made a Costs Order. If this is not agreed, then the Respondent must say so when responding to the petition in the Acknowledgment of Service Form.
- Try to agree a Petition.
If parties are willing to co-operate with each other, it can be prudent to try and agree a petition ahead of time. This means that the petition can be responded to quickly and can help speed up the process. This is what colloquially is called a “quickie divorce.” Agreeing matters ahead of time means that both parties are then able to file response documentation as soon as received from the Court.
Following these tips when going through your Divorce will save you time and money. It is always, however, prudent to get prompt legal advice in matters to assist you further through the process.