The legal challenges that divorce presents
Legal Articles – Divorce
Divorce is the formal and legal dissolution of a marriage and acts to cancel the responsibilities and duties the two people have towards each other. A process that will have such a large effect on a family’s life will inevitably involve the need for a large amount of legal documentation, and it is advisable to seek legal help in drafting these documents.
The divorce rate in the UK has actually been falling over the last couple of years, and is currently around about 1% of the married population per year. This represents the lowest divorce rate in the UK since 1979. Surveys show that the adultery, extramarital sex and infidelity are still the most common reason for divorce, although domestic violence and midlife crisis follow behind.
The process of getting a divorce in the UK is one that can take a prolonged period of time and has many sequential steps that must be completed properly and in order. Many people choose to enlist the help of a solicitor to ensure that the process is done right the first time to avoid prolonging an already emotive and stressful experience.
The process of getting a divorce in the UK really revolves around three distinct legal documents; the divorce petition, the decree nisi and the decree absolute.
A divorce petition is the document that is needed to formally begin divorce proceedings. This is the name given to form D8 which must be obtained from HM Courts Service. This form must include both spouse’s names and full addresses, the personal information of any children that have resulted from the marriage and the original copy of the marriage certificate. On top of this the reasons for seeking a divorce must be stated and a fee paid (usually £340).
The next important document that must be obtained in the divorce process is the decree nisi. This document confirms that the court has no reason to stop the divorce from proceeding. If the other spouse does not oppose the divorce an individual can fill in the forms D84, the application for directions for trial, and D80, the Affidavit of evidence. After these forms have been returned to the court, if the judge agrees, the person will receive three documents: form D84A which shows that the court will legally allow the divorce, form D84B which clarifies that the court can see no reason for delaying the divorce and finally form D29 which is the decree nisi itself.
From this point the two parties only need the decree absolute to finalise the divorce. This document can be obtained be the completion of form D36 and sending it to the court along with the fee that is charged for this service. Once you receive the decree absolute the two parties are formally divorced and no longer have any duties towards each other.
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