Divorce/Family law



Divorce is the termination of a marital union, the cancelling and/or reorganising of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage.

Divorce is unlike annulment, which declares the marriage null and void. Divorce laws vary throughout the world but in most countries it requires the involvement of a court or other authority in the legal process. The legal process of divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, visitation rights, child support, distribution of property and division of debt. In most countries monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another.

Divorce can be a stressful experience affecting everything from finances inc living arrangements, household jobs, schedules to parenting. If the family includes children, they may be affected very badly by the process.

To get a divorce in the UK, you need to have been married for at least one year and your marriage must be recognised as valid by United Kingdom law. You or your partner must be living in England or Wales when you apply for the divorce or one of you must have been living in England or Wales during the year before the application is made.
If your partner does not object to the divorce you can apply for an undefended divorce. If there are no children and no complicated property matters then you may be able to complete the divorce procedure without the help of a solicitor.

If your partner does not agree to the divorce, it is called a defended divorce and you will need the help of a solicitor.

A divorce will be granted by the Family Court if you can show the marriage no longer exists. Legally, this is known as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The court will look at the evidence to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. The court will accept any of the following as proof: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years separation with consent or five years separation.
You can only get legal aid for divorce proceedings if you’re a victim of domestic violence or abuse.

Family law is an area of the law that deals with family issues in order to maintain the matters of any family. The aim being to retain harmony, peace issues and domestic relations including:

• the nature of marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships
• issues arising throughout marriage, including abuse both spousal and child, adoption issues, illegitemacy,
• the termination of the relationship and ancillary matters including divorce, annulments, which include property settlements and spousal payments. Child matters incuding child support payments, custody and visitation rights.
• Paternity issues and testing
• Adjudication with juvenilles

This list is by no means exhaustive of the potential issues that come through the family legal system.

1. What is family law?
Family law is a practice area that encompasses the legal issues that face families. These issues include:
• divorce
• spousal support
• child support
• custody
• division of assets and liabilities due to divorce
• adoption
• termination of parental rights
• paternity
• dependency and child neglect
• protection from abuse


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