Provided you have been married for a year you will need to consider the basis upon which you wish to divorce. Contrary to common belief, there is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order for the Court to make a finding that the marriage has irretrievably broken down the petitioner will need to prove one of five facts (commonly thought of as the grounds for divorce). These facts are:-
Unless the proceedings are defended the Court will not generally make further inquiries or ask for further information about the evidence given by the petitioner to prove the existence of one of the facts within the divorce petition and the statement in support. However if the proceedings are defended (which is unusual) the Court will look at the available evidence.
It is important that wherever possible the particulars relied upon don’t inflame what is already a difficult situation and therefore care needs to be given to how the divorce petition is drafted.
An undefended divorce is when proceedings have been issued and an acknowledgement of service form has been filed by the respondent indicating that they do not intend to defend the proceedings. It is uncommon for proceedings to be defended but if you or your spouse wishes to defend the proceedings it is important to take legal advice quickly.
The process for dissolution of civil partnership is the same as for divorce. Where the term “divorce” is used on the flowchart it should be taken to include dissolution of civil partnership.