divorceproceedings

Same-sex divorce

Same-sex divorce

The court has the power and jurisdiction to deal with same-sex divorces under The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Jurisdiction and Recognition of Judgments) Regulations 2014.

There was more than three times the number of same-sex divorces in 2017 than in 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics. There were 428 divorces of same-sex couples in 2018, increasing from 338 in 2017; of these, three-quarters were among female couples.

Unreasonable behaviour was the most common fact relied upon for same-sex couples.

Same-sex couples cannot rely on adultery as a fact in their divorce petition, but they can rely on the following:

  1. Behaviour – the other party has acted in such a way that you cannot be expected to live with them. This fact cannot be used if you have lived with the other party for a total of six months after the date of the last incident you are relying on.
  2. Desertion – the other party has left, without reason, for a continuous period of at least two years prior to your petition.
  3. Separation – two years – the parties have lived separately for at least two years, and you have the consent of the other party to divorce on this basis. You can still live in the same home during the separation, but you must not ‘live as a couple’ for six months during or after the separation period.
  4. Separation – five years – the parties have lived separately for a continuous period of five years (no consent required). You can still live in the same home during the separation, but you must not ‘live as a couple’ for six months during or after the separation period.

If you are considering commencing divorce proceedings, you should consult a family law specialist to provide you with initial advice and help you to understand your next steps.

If you would like a free telephone consultation, email me at familylawyerlondon.

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Should I start divorce proceedings?

Should I start divorce proceedings?

You may, however, be concerned about the hostility and upset this may cause you, your partner and the children. Being sensitive to the timings can help to keep the divorce as amicable as possible, but if the other party is not on board, it can be upsetting.

I am often consulted by clients who are not emotionally ready to start divorce proceedings but want to learn more about their rights and the divorce process. They are dealing with a range of emotions and each client needs their own time to work through this.  Some clients are ready to get started when they come to see me for the first time. Some are not, and that is perfectly ok. Many clients inform me that the timing is not right because they have family holiday with the children approaching or because there has been a bereavement in the family recently, and for them it just would not be appropriate.

It is important to consider the welfare of your children when taking this decision, however, my advice to all my clients is that their welfare is just as important.  The sooner they start divorce proceedings, the sooner they can take steps to move forward and think positively about their future.  A simple straightforward divorce could take eight to twelve months to complete. This can extend to two, and in some circumstances three years, when financial matters are being dealt with at court.

My role as a family lawyer is to make sure that you understand your legal rights and to support you through this process. Having a lawyer does help to lessen the burden, as even an amicable divorce can be stressful.

If you are unsure about starting divorce proceedings, please do contact me. I will provide you with initial advice and set out the options available to you, so that you have the information to make an informed decision about whether this is what is right for you.

Email me at familylawyerlondon.

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