Going through a divorce is never easy, but our lawyers strive to make the divorce process as straightforward and efficient as possible so you can move on with your life.
We have experience in handling all manner of divorces from those funded by legal aid, to those of business owners and high-net-worth individuals. Our family solicitors will listen to you and understand the outcomes that are important to you in divorce, whether that be securing child custody or ensuring financial security going forward. We are also highly experienced in sensitive divorce matters such as domestic violence and the involvement of social services. Our lawyers will always handle your case in the strictest of confidence, and strive to make you feel comfortable – we know how difficult it can be to discuss personal family matters.
Divorce Process in Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, there is only one ground upon which you can obtain a divorce, and that is the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage, as evidenced by presenting one of the following five facts to the Court:
You can proceed on this fact if you can satisfy the Court that your spouse has been having a sexual relationship voluntarily with another party during the course of your marriage. If you resume cohabitation with him/her for a period more than six months after you discover their infidelity, then you could not proceed on this fact as you would be deemed to have condoned the adultery.
This is the most common of all the fault facts and covers a multitude of sins committed by your spouse such as excessive drinking, gambling or domestic violence. Any form of behaviour by your husband or wife that is at such a level that you could not reasonably be expected to live any further falls into this category. Unreasonable behaviour petitions, however, can be very contentious and nasty, and if your spouse decides to contest the allegations against him/her, then the case will be transferred to the High Court in Belfast for a contested hearing.
This fact is not used very often. If your husband or wife has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years, you can obtain a divorce on that basis.
If you and your spouse have been living apart for a least two years preceding the presentation of the Divorce Petition and if they consent to the divorce, then a Court will grant a Decree Nisi on that basis.
If spousal consent to a two-year petition for divorce is not forthcoming and none of the other facts are available, you could proceed on the basis of 5-year separation. It is a non- contentious fact, but you will have to wait five years from the date of separation.
Depending on your income and assets, you may be entitled to legal aid to assist with the costs of the divorce, so always ask.
Contact our Specialist Divorce Lawyers in Derry/Londonderry
We understand how painful divorce can be, and if you need a legal team ready to support you at each stage of the process contact us today. We will explain everything to you clearly and concisely, to ensure you fully understand the best options for you and your family.
To discuss the specific circumstances of your divorce, or any other family law matter, with a lawyer that can help, call us now on 028 7136 6612 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you right away. We look forward to hearing from you.