UK Divorce Laws

Divorce Papers > Divorce Laws > UK Divorce Laws

A divorce is recognized world-wide as a legal matter. But, every country has its own laws to govern divorce cases. These laws show the cultural and social influences that differ from one nation to another. UK divorce laws are formed on the basis of the requirements and priorities of the government in the country.

The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 is the basic divorce law in the United Kingdom. As per this law, the petitioner must make an application in the court for a "decree nisi". After the divorce procedure is over, the Court grants a "decree absolute".

Residency requirements as per UK divorce law

The petitioner must be able to prove that either the petitioner or the respondent (petitioner's spouse) has been domiciled or habitually resident in the relevant country. The other important requirement for the divorce is the time period after marriage. According to the UK divorce laws, one year should have been elapsed after the marriage to obtain a divorce by a court procedure.

Grounds of divorce as per UK divorce law

If it is proved that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, it is possible to obtain a decree nisi. As per the legislation, if minimum 1 or the following 5 facts can be established, then it is possible to prove that the marriage has broken down.

  • Five years separation without consent: The respondent and the petitioner must be residing separately for minimum 5 years irrespective of the fact whether the respondent accedes to the divorce.
  • Two years separation with consent: Both the respondent and the petitioner agreed to be divorced and are residing separately for minimum 2 years.
  • Desertion: The respondent must have left the petitioner alone for a minimum period of 2 years.
  • Unreasonable behavior: The respondent must be found guilty of unreasonable behavior and hence, it cannot be expected that the petitioner can continue residing with the respondent.
  • Adultery: It must be proved that the respondent was involved in adultery and due to this reason, the petitioner cannot continue residing with the respondent.

Though the grounds are indirectly based on the principle of irreconcilable breakdown of marriage, the petitioner has to prove the direct causes in the court to get divorced from the partner.

Child Custody

Initially, the parents are given an opportunity to reach a consensus regarding the living arrangements of their child. If parents succeed in providing such agreement that mentions the terms for child custody, the court approves it by studying it from a legal perspective. However, if the parents fail to reach an agreement, the courts decide on its own, which is usually in the best interest of the child. Generally, the UK courts have a tendency to award physical custody based on the following criteria.

  • Which parent can provide least disruption for the child?
  • Which parent has sufficient parenting skills?
  • Which parent can offer maximum economical security?

In this country, there is a general opinion that older children should stay with their father while younger children should reside with their mother. When the case is a much disputed one, the relative fitness of each parent to raise the child is used as a basis of comparison. It has been observed in some rare and unusual cases, that a particular parent has been denied custody permanently.

If the demeanor or circumstances of either or both parents alters, then such a parent or parents can make an application in the court to consider the custody arrangements again. After due consideration of the changed circumstances, the court may change its decision regarding custody.

Child Contact Order

Child contact or child visitation is regarded as an opportunity to the non-custodial partner to keep a regular contact with the children. There are 6 types of child contacts as follows.

  • Indirect Contact: The non-custodial party is permitted contact through telephone calls, gifts, postcards, letters etc, but cannot see the child personally.
  • Supervised Contact: Such a contact takes place at a location other than either spouse's houses and in the presence of an independent third party that is selected by the court.
  • Defined Contact: When the case is very difficult, the court makes a detailed child contact order that defines precisely how the contact should occur.
  • Staying Contact: The child can stay overnight at the non-custodial parent's house.
  • Visiting Contact: Child visitation occurs at the house of the non-custodial parent.
  • Reasonable Contact: When there is reasonable behavior on part of the parents, the judge decides that the parents should finalize the nature of access.

Likewise child custody, child contact order can be altered if the situations of the parent improves or has been changed in a better manner.

Divorce Papers

How To File For Divorce
Divorce lawyers
Divorce Laws
Divorce Mediation
Divorce Statistics
Uncontested Divorce
No Fault Divorce
Divorce Procedures
Divorce Questions
Divorce Tips
Divorce Steps
Children And Divorce
Do It Yourself Divorce
Divorce Support
Divorce Settlement
Divorce Rights
Collaborative Divorce
Marriage And Divorce
Divorce Alimony
Divorce Proceedings
Contested Divorce
Divorce Counseling
Divorce Petition
Divorce Custody
Divorce Legal Advice
Divorce Adultery
Divorce In America
Divorce Child Support
International Divorce
Divorce Orders
Post Divorce
Property Divorce
Low Cost Divorce
How to Stop a Divorce
Quick Divorce