Divorce



Law-Answers.com provides very helpful guidance and links on its Personal & Family Help Desk to help with your divorce questions.


Netlawman.co.uk provides the following guidance on the grounds for a divorce and the legal templates on this page:

"You can only divorce if you have a valid reason recognised by law. The forms you use depend on which ground you petition your divorce on. The grounds accepted are:

Separation for at least two years and both husband and wife agree to the divorce

This is a popular choice by couples who wish to have a relatively amicable split, perhaps because of children or sizeable assets.

Note that in using this ground, any assets acquired whilst you have been separated are considered in the division of assets for the divorce.

Separation for at least five years

Again, this is often used as a ground by couples who wish to have a relatively amicable split. It can also used in situations where a previous petition on another ground failed, and since that time, you and your spouse have lived apart.

Unreasonable behaviour

Unreasonable behaviour means that the behaviour of your spouse is or has been so poor, that it is unreasonable that you should be expected to remain married.

Although this sounds a rather catch-all way of obtaining an instant divorce, the Courts have imposed a strict test if you wish to petition on this ground:

  • there must have been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; and
  • the non-petitioning party must have acted in such an unreasonable manner the petitioning party can no longer tolerate living with them

If you are unable to meet all these conditions, you need to consider an alternative ground for divorce. Often adultery is used as an alternative, but this also has restrictions.

Great care should be taken when drafting the petition citing unreasonable behaviour. Your allegations have to be strong enough to persuade the Court that the behaviour has been unreasonable, but they should not be an attack on the other side. We recommend that you keep the wording factual, specific and objective.

In many cases, the judgment will be based on the particular effect the behaviour on the other. If the effect is mild (irritation, annoyance, boredom) it will not be sufficient. If the effect is more dramatic and this was clear to your partner when it happened, it may well be sufficient.

Adultery

This ground can be used if your husband or wife has had sex with someone else either in a single encounter or in another relationship outside of the marriage.

There are restrictions on divorce on the grounds of adultery. The following conditions must all be satisfied for this ground to be used:

  • the person starting proceedings must be the person who has not been adulterous
  • the extra martial sexual relationship must have been with someone of the opposite gender
  • you must be able to prove that sexual relations have taken place
  • the petition must be started within 6 months of the adultery. To clarify further, that is not within 6 months of you becoming aware, but of the act of sex outside of marriage. That means that you should lodge this form with the court no more than five and a half months after the event

If you are unable to meet all these conditions, you need to consider an alternative ground for divorce. Often unreasonable behaviour is used as an alternative, but this also has restrictions.

Also note that while it may seem gratifying to name the person with whom your spouse had sex in your court petition, if you do so that person will become a party to the divorce, which is likely to delay the process.

Desertion

Desertion means that your spouse has intentionally walked out of the marriage for good.

Today, this is an uncommon ground on which to divorce. It requires you to prove the intention never to return, thus, a petition based on two years separation and consent or five years separation is often an easy alternative."

Before downloading any of these templates and documents, we recommend that you also take some time to read these useful articles by Netlawman to familiarise yourself with the divorce process:

Template: D89 form: Application for Service of Petition by Court Bailiff

Read what Net lawman says about this template:

"This set of documents includes everything you need to help you draft and print an application for bailiff service.

This form is suitable if you are a petitioner who haven’t received your husband’s or wife’s acknowledgement of service form within 3 weeks from the date the petition was sent to him or her. We suggest you check with the court that he or she hasn't sent it there before you apply for a bailiff."

Template: Divorce Forms Pack: 2 years separation and consent

 Read what Net lawman says about this template:

"This pack of forms and documents includes every form you need to manage the three stages of your undefended divorce – the petition, the decree nisi and the decree absolute.

Application and features

  • All documents, letters and forms for an undefended divorce
  • Example letters to the court and completed example forms make it easy
  • Invaluable notes guide you through the minefield
  • Cost effective solution
  • Notes written in plain English!

Contents

  • D8 divorce petition form
  • Petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • D80 (2 years separation and consent) application for decree nisi form
  • D84 application for decree nisi form
  • Example letter to court re decree nisi
  • D36 application for decree absolute
  • D11 form
  • Form FM1
  • EX160 court fee remission calculator
  • Example letter to court re decree absolute
  • Completed examples of all forms
  • Guidance notes on how to complete all forms"

Template: Divorce Forms Pack: unreasonable behaviour

 Read what Net lawman says about this template:

"This pack includes every form you shall need to manage the three stages of your divorce – the petition, the decree nisi and the decree absolute. The reason for your divorce should be unreasonable behaviour by your spouse.

Application and features

  • All documents, letters and forms for an undefended divorce
  • Invaluable notes in plain English, example letters to the court and completed forms make filling out your information easy

Contents

  • D8 divorce petition form
  • Example petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • D80 (unreasonable behaviour) application for decree nisi form
  • D84 application for decree nisi form
  • Petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • Example letter to court re decree nisi
  • D36 application for decree absolute
  • D11 form
  • FM1 form
  • EX160 court fee remission calculator
  • Example letter to court re decree absolute
  • Completed examples
  • Guidance notes on how to complete all the forms"

Template: Divorce Forms Pack: 5 years separation

Read what Net lawman says about this template:

"This pack contains every form you need to manage the three stages of your divorce – the petition, the decree nisi and the decree absolute.

Application and features

  • All documents, letters and forms for an undefended divorce
  • Guidance notes in plain English and examples of letters to the court and the forms make it easy to complete them yourself

Contents

  • D8 divorce petition form
  • Example petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • D80 (5 years separation) application for decree nisi form
  • D84 application for decree nisi form
  • Petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • Example letter to court re decree nisi
  • D36 application for decree absolute
  • D11 form
  • Form FM1
  • EX160 court fee remission calculator
  • Example letter to court re decree absolute"

Template: Divorce Forms Pack: adultery

Read what Net lawman says about this template:

"This pack contains all you need to manage your own undefended divorce. It includes every form you need to manage each of the three stages – the petition, the decree nisi and the decree absolute. 

Application and features

  • All documents, letters and forms for an undefended divorce
  • Example letters to the court, completed examples of the forms and invaluable notes guide you. All are written in plain English.

Contents

  • D8 divorce petition form
  • Example petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • D80 (adultery) application for decree nisi form
  • D84 application for decree nisi form
  • Petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • Example letter to court re decree nisi
  • D36 application for decree absolute
  • D11 form
  • FM1 form
  • EX160 court fee remission calculator
  • Example letter to court re decree absolute
  • Completed examples and guidance notes"

Template: Divorce Forms Pack: abandonment

Read what Net lawman says about this template:

"This pack contains all you need to manage your own undefended divorce by reason of abandonment during all three stages – the petition, the decree nisi and the decree absolute.

Application and features

  • All documents, letters and forms for an undefended divorce by reason of abandonment
  • Example letters to the court and completed example forms make it easy
  • Invaluable notes guide you through the minefield
  • Cost effective solution
  • Notes written in plain English!

Contents

  • D8 divorce petition form
  • Example petition letter to court to start proceedings
  • Petition letter
  • D80 (abadonment) application for decree nisi form
  • D84 application form for decree nisi
  • Example letter to court re decree nisi
  • D36 application for decree absolute
  • Example letter to court re decree absolute
  • D11 form
  • Form FM1
  • EX160 court fee remission calculator
  • Completed examples of all forms
  • Guidance notes on how to complete all forms"


Detailed guidance notes are provided with each template. Net Lawman offers a money back guarantee if the document is not what you need, as well as a legal review option if you want some professional assistance when you are drawing up your documents.

Notice: Please note that the information provided on this page:

  • Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
  • Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman or LawDocs4All.com;
  • Does not create a contractual relationship;
  • Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.

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