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How long do you have to be seperated for before you can divorce?

(8 Posts)
nolongeraworriedmummy Thu 02-Oct-08 09:44:43

ex-dh and i split in January and I have no intentions of going back, we split because he smashed the house to pieces and was a bit of a control freak, HOWEVER, I dont want to drag all that up in the divorce proceedings for dds sake as it will make things a whole lot worse, how long do i have to wait to divorce on grounds of it just wasnt working?

surprisenumber3 Thu 02-Oct-08 09:50:25

It was two years at the time I got divorced, a few years ago now, that was getting divorced on the grounds of living separately for two years.

nolongeraworriedmummy Thu 02-Oct-08 09:55:36

suprise did you have to send proof that you had been living seperate that time or just both sign that you had?

surprisenumber3 Thu 02-Oct-08 09:58:14

I'm pretty sure we just signed. It was really quick and easy.

mumoverseas Thu 02-Oct-08 09:59:13

there is one ground for divorce, that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. You need to back this up with one of 5 facts. They are:
a) the respondent (your DH) has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with it;
b) the respondent's unreasonable behaviour;
c) you have been separated for at least two years and the respondent (your DH) consents to the divorce;
d) desertion for in excess of 2 years (rarely used ground)
e) separated in excess of 5 years (no consent of respondent required)

Most people seem to go ahead on unreasonable behaviour which could certainly be used in your case, ie him smashing the house up and being a control freak. It doesn't necessarily have to become a mud slinging exercise, you would just need to include in the divorce petition a few examples of his behaviour. it does vary from court to court but usually 4 or 5 examples will suffice. some can be quite general and can go back a few years but you will need a more recent one.

If you don't want to go ahead on behaviour for your DD's sake, then the best option (if he will agree) is the 2 years separation once that period has elapsed. Please bear in mind that even though he may consent now he can withdraw his consent at any time. An alternative if he agrees, is to enter into a separation agreement now (which can include financial arrangements if agreed) and then go ahead with a divorce once the 2 year period is up.
Hope this helps and good luck

mumoverseas Thu 02-Oct-08 10:02:47

you don't need to send proof, you just need to set out in the divorce petition where you both live now and once the petition is issued, DH will need to complete the acknowledgement of service form (saying he received the petition) and he will have to say whether he intends to defend the divorce. In the next stage, you need to file an affidavit (sworn statement) in support of your petition and in that document you need to set out the addresses of where you and DH have lived since the separation.
It is actually possible for people to get divorced on 2 years separation if still living under the same roof but you need to convince the court (in your affidavit) that you have lived separate lives, ie you do not do his cooking, cleaning, washing ironing and do not eat together. (or sleep together obviously!) This is very hard when you have kids.

nolongeraworriedmummy Thu 02-Oct-08 10:05:55

how do you do a seperation agreement mumoverseas, there is no money or property involved.

mumoverseas Thu 02-Oct-08 10:08:53

you can enter into a separation agreement pretty much as soon as you separate. Most people go to a solicitor to have this drawn up to make sure it is watertight. However, seems to be a pointless exercise if no money or property involved. People usually do the SA to resolve financial issues in the interim, before they can commence divorce proceedings. If no financial issues then you may well be throwing money away. Best option is to find out from DH his views on divorce and if happy to wait til 2 years up then go on separation (and hope he doesn't change his mind between now and the 2 year period)

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