John Hooper & Co
Specialists in Family Law
We have dealt with many Divorce Petitions on behalf of clients, both within the Midlands and throughout England.
Divorce is the legal act of dissolving a marriage.
The one ground for divorce in England and Wales is “the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”.
There are five ways of proving “irretrievable breakdown” and they are:-
Separation of two years or more with the consent of the other spouse to the grant of Decree Nisi.
Desertion by spouse of the other for two years or more
Separation of five years (without the agreement of the other spouse)
The most common grounds are adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
It normally takes approximately five months to obtain the final divorce Order from the court.
There are two divorce Orders:-
The Decree Nisi – this is the first Divorce Order. This Order provides that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. It also enables the Court, on the application of either one or both parties, to make a Financial Order.
The Decree Absolute – this is the final Divorce Order.
The Decree Absolute has a number of important effects:-
It dissolves the marriage and this means that both parties are now single people again;
It leaves each of them free to remarry if they so wish, in due course;
Any gift which is left by one party for the other in his or her Will is no longer valid unless a contrary intention appears within the terms of the Will itself;
Neither party is entitled to a spouse’s pension in the event of the death of the other party;
It is sensible for both parties to appoint guardians in respect of any children of the family.
Most importantly, the act of filing for divorce enables either one or both parties to make a financial claim against the other. As we have previously stated, the court has power to make financial Orders once the first Divorce Order has been made by the court (the “Decree Nisi”).
The act of filing for divorce is therefore an important step along the road to legal and social independence.
However, it is not always the most appropriate solution to the breakdown of the marriage.
There are, no doubt, many couples, who regret having entered into a divorce.
We recommend, to each and every client, all of the alternatives to an actual divorce.
In that way, we can then be sure that the client has been properly advised about their rights together with the consequences of pursuing any particular course of action (whether or not it is divorce, separation, counselling or otherwise).
It is also important, in the event of an international case, for a full advice to be given to the client about the options and effects of proceeding within England and Wales (as opposed to any other relevant jurisdiction).
It is a commonly held view that the divorce courts of England and Wales are more generous to divorcing wives than some other jurisdictions. Therefore, the prospect of proceeding in another jurisdiction (if that is appropriate) needs to be considered by both parties and the appropriate action taken at the earliest possible opportunity.
Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority
John Hooper & Co. is the trading name of John Hooper & Co. Limited and its registered office is at 10 Regent Street, Nottingham. NG1 5BQ and the company registration number is 6795793
The Solicitors Regulation Authority number is 508461