LEGAL EAGLE: Do I have to wait five years to get a divorce from my husband?

My husband and I mutually separated over two years ago and I now want a divorce.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 12:00 am
it is also now possible for divorce papers to be sent online if you have an email address.
it is also now possible for divorce papers to be sent online if you have an email address.

My husband did not commit adultery and although he was verbally abusive and controlling towards me during our marriage, I do not want to petition for divorce stating his unreasonable behaviour.

I think I would only be able to petition for divorce based on two years separation with his consent but I have not been in contact with him since we separated and I no longer know where he lives.

I also do not think he would agree to a divorce as he was unhappy about our separation so I think the only option I have is to wait and divorce under five years separation which would not require his consent.

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However I started a new relationship a year ago and wish to take the next step but I am still married and really do not want to wait another three years. What can I do?

On April 6, 2022, new law came into force under the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which means that you no longer need to rely on the “five facts” for a divorce.

In order to apply for a divorce you need to have been married for over a year, the marriage is legally recognised in the UK and now state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably (permanently).

You can do this online or by post and it is also no longer possible to contest a divorce, except on limited grounds such as if there may be an issue on whether the courts of England and Wales have jurisdiction to grant a divorce.

There is a minimum period of 20 weeks from the start of the divorce application to a conditional order and after six weeks and one day of this conditional order, you can then apply for a final order so you should be divorced by six months.

If you do not have your husband’s address, it is also now possible for divorce papers to be sent online if you have an email address.

You may also be eligible for legal aid if you have been the victim of domestic abuse.

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss this matter further and to assess if you are eligible for Legal Aid, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.