January can be a significant time of year for some couples. Following the Christmas period when emotions run high and you have spent more time together as a family, where it might not have been the idyllic festive period you wished for, as a Family Law department we quite often see an increase in divorce requests at this time of year.
According to the Office of National Statistics there was a 5% increase in divorce petitions presented at court in 2016, compared to the previous year. The average marriage now lasts 12 years, with 42% of marriages now ending in divorce.
One question we often ask at an initial meeting with clients is – Is it really over? Is there anything that can be done through an initial separation or couples counselling? If there is a significant reason that is given then divorce can be requested.
There are four steps to a divorce in the UK:
1. Find a valid reason for grounds for divorce
2. File a D8 divorce petition with the courts, which your solicitor can do on your behalf.
3. Apply for a decree nisi. The judge will consider the application. If he agrees will pronounce decree nisi.
4. Apply for a decree absolute after a minimum wait of six weeks and one day.
This will only dissolve your civil marriage. If you entered into a religious marriage, you may need to speak to the relevant religious authority for guidance.
We strongly recommend using mediation especially when children are concerned, we can recommend Mediators for you to work with.