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Monday 10 June 2013

How do I start divorce proceedings?

Erica Cottrell at Sampson Coward in Salisbury explains. To begin divorce proceedings you need to have been married for more than one year.   You must then file a Divorce Petition at court stating the marriage has “irretrievably broken down”.

This has to be based on one of five grounds:

1. Adultery by your husband or wife.
2. Unreasonable behaviour by your husband or wife.
3. Two years’ separation with the consent of your husband or wife.
4. Five years’ separation (no consent required).
5. Desertion by your husband or wife.

Where children are involved you will also need to file a statement of arrangements setting out who they will live with and how much contact they will have with your husband or wife.  You will also need to file your original marriage certificate with the court (or a certified copy) and pay an issue fee to start the proceedings.

If you both agree that the divorce should proceed undefended the procedure is relatively simple and does not require attending court. If the divorce is defended (which is rare) you will need to attend court.  

For more advice contact Erica Cottrell or Tina Coward on 01722 410664 or email  or