Our divorce solicitors in Guildford are here to help you in every step of what can be an emotionally challenging chapter of your life. Here at Prentice Family Law, our friendly and professional team will ensure that you are our priority at all times and that your needs and requirements are met and adhered to. Our divorce solicitors in Guildford offer professional advice and will deal with your case with honesty and integrity to ensure that you receive the justice that you deserve.

Why has divorce increased?

Recent years have seen a rise in divorces taking place in the UK. Once a matter to be ashamed and embarrassed about, divorce is now something that people encourage and celebrate. In some circumstances, it is seen as freedom and emancipation for couples who find that their marriage is no longer working. National statistics show that the average overall divorce rate in England and Wales is 33.3%. Our divorce solicitors in Guildford will tell you that this is based on marriages that took place between 1967 and 2017. As you can see, this shows that one-third of marriages in the UK end up being dissolved.

What is the main basis for divorce?

To commence court proceedings, the petitioner (the person wishing to initiate the divorce) will need to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. So how can this be proven? The petitioner must prove that it has broken down due to one of the five following reasons: adultery, separation for two years (where there is mutual agreement), separation for five years, desertion and unreasonable behaviour.

If the petitioner is unable to prove that one of these five factors existed and was the cause of the breakdown of the marriage, the court will not proceed with the divorce. From this, you can see that the laws relating to divorce are still stringent and not as flexible as one would expect, particularly considering that there are so many divorces that are granted on a yearly basis.

Adultery is a common factor that petitioners claim as being the cause of their marital breakdown. However, the law considers that adultery can only be committed when one person has sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex. Furthermore, the petitioner must cease to continue to live with their partner for at least six months from the day they found out about the adultery in order for the court to grant a divorce on that basis. When adultery is committed with someone of the same sex, this is not considered adultery in the eyes of the law and would, therefore, fall under the remit of unreasonable behaviour.

Thus it is essential that the petitioner chooses the correct factor when making their application to the court to commence divorce proceedings. Failure to do so could lead the court to throw out the case entirely. Therefore, you must instruct competent and experienced lawyers who understand the law and have extensive knowledge of how to deal with such cases to avoid such technical issues.