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Divorce: Is it just too easy?

If you were keeping an eye on our legal updates during Christmas, you may have noticed we stuck to a slightly less festive topic. Divorce season is well and truly upon us and with a forecast spike in the number of separations, have we simply made divorcing a spouse far too easy?

Divorce Day on 7th January is so-called due to the sheer number of people who will begin divorce proceedings on a spouse on that day. They’ve got through Christmas, the bills have started to come in and we all start to head back to work – that is when the festive hangover well and truly begins.

However, it seems some couples have jumped the gun. According to a recent article 455 people began online divorce proceedings between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. Out of those people, 13 filed for divorce on Christmas Day.

Filing for a divorce online, a service launched by HM Courts and Tribunals Service in April 2018, seems to be the latest in a round of measures that allow us to simply divorce too easily. It’s popular too, as more than 23,000 applications have been made via the online portal since its launch.

I’ve been a divorce lawyer for a number of years and, together with my colleagues, it is true to say that there is definitely a formula for common relationship “killers”. But, who says that should just remain in a marriage? Perhaps we should all take the time to consider how we communicate with our other halves and how we can work towards living together in harmony, as opposed to turning to divorce for an easy option.

Despite the online option, divorce can still be a very lengthy process and you should buckle up for the long haul. Before hitting the send button, make sure you are aware of your legal stance before entering divorce, particularly with regard to children and finances.

The law in England and Wales still requires you to meet one of these criteria in order to be granted a divorce:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. You have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to the divorce
  5. You have lived apart for at least five years, even if your husband or wife disagrees

If you are considering a divorce, make sure you get all the right advice. Contact our Family Law team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

Posted on 11/01/2019 by Richard Middlehurst

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