Divorce and Dissolution

  • Author: Gemma Thew
  • Posted on: 24th April 2018
  • Posted in: Blog

Civil Partnership Dissolution and Divorce

It is sad when relationships end, however, sometimes when a relationship has irretrievably broken down, it is the best thing to do. There are two ways of ending a same-sex relationship, namely divorce and dissolution. Below we explore the differences between them and the process.

Divorce vs Dissolution

There are two ways of ending a same-sex relationship. ‘Dissolution’ is legally ending a civil partnership, whereas ‘Divorce’ is used to describe the ending of same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. To divorce or dissolve a civil partnership, you must have been in the civil partnership or marriage for at least a year before applying to the court for a divorce or dissolution.

What are the grounds for ending a marriage/civil partnership?

In order to prove the relationship has broken down, you need good reasons for ending a civil partnership or marriage. There is one ground to prove to obtain a divorce of a marriage or the dissolution of a civil partnership and that is the ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage/civil partnership’.

These are 5 facts available to prove this. These grounds are:

  • Adultery this reason is only available for divorce, and specifically refers to ‘sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex outside marriage’
  • Unreasonable behaviour (this can include physical or mental cruelty, verbal or physical abuse, being irresponsible with money - anything that can be deemed as being unreasonable and that you can no longer live with)
  • Desertion (your partner has left you without your agreement, without a good reason, to end your relationship or for more than 2 years in the past 2.5 years).
  • You have lived apart for more than 2 years (if you both agree to end the marriage/civil partnership)
  • You have lived apart for more than 5 years (only one of you needs to agree to end the marriage/civil partnership)

Starting the process

To start the process, you will first need to fill in a dissolution application form or divorce petition form. You should include your full name and address and your husband/wife/civil partner’s full name and address. You should also provide the original or a certified copy of your marriage/civil partnership certificate. You must also try to find out your civil partner / husband / wife’s current address if you don’t know where they live. The paperwork is sent, together with a fee, to a court to ask them for permission to end the civil partnership / marriage. If both parties agree on divorce/dissolution, you would not usually have to attend court. It is advisable to seek legal advice before you apply for divorce or dissolution as there can be many factors that are important for you to understand before starting the process.

You will also need to consider any arrangements for looking after children, agree child maintenance payments (if applicable) and think about how property and money will be split.

We can help you at all stages of the process

Firstly, we can help on whether you are eligible and meet the ground of divorce/dissolution. Secondly, we can assist you through the process and help you reach an agreed settlement.

We offer a FREE, confidential and no-obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss your concerns and options moving forward. You can call us on 01273 734 600 or email advice@crosbywoods.co.uk.

Gemma Thew, Solicitor