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Divorce without the consent of your husband/wife?

Divorce is never easy however it’s made a whole lot easier if you and your spouse are in agreement of how best to end the marriage.

There is one basic ground for divorce in England and Wales and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This ground is supported by one of five facts upon which you can rely.

The five facts are:

  1. Unreasonable Behaviour
  2. Adultery
  3. Desertion
  4. 2 years separation with consent
  5. 5 years separation without consent


Only one of facts requires the consent of your spouse.

We advise clients to issue divorce proceedings on the basis that they have lived continuously apart for a period of at least two years if they are certain that their spouse will consent to the divorce.

Before the proceedings begin we obtain written consent from your spouse which in turn can then be used within the divorce proceedings. If your spouse will not give their consent then we usually advise to use one of the other four facts in support of your divorce.

You should know that you cannot progress a divorce on the two year separation fact if your spouse does not consent or complete the Acknowledgement of Service document confirming their consent.

With the exception of two years separation, the other facts do not need your spouse to give his/her consent and therefore you can start the divorce against your spouse without having to obtain their consent.

One problem that can arise in divorce proceedings is when petition has been issued by the Court and your spouse fails to complete and sign the Acknowledgement of Service. If he/she does not return the Acknowledgement then they are not indicating that they have either received the petition or that they agree with your stated fact in support of the divorce. In these circumstances the Court cannot progress your divorce as there is no proof for the Court that the petition has been received by your spouse. This can often be frustrating and causes unnecessary delays to the divorce process.

However, there are ways to prove that the petition has been served upon your spouse. Contact us today for a free initial advice session.



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