What Grounds Can I Use In A Divorce?

Once you have made the difficult decision to get a divorce, there are five grounds that can be used in your divorce petition. Grounds for divorce is a legal term used to describe the reason you give on your divorce petition for the ending of your marriage.

The first grounds for divorce is adultery. This means that your spouse had a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex outside of your marriage. The grounds for adultery do not apply for same sex marriages and cannot be used. In addition, if you continue to live with your spouse for six months afterward finding out about the adultery, you cannot use this as the grounds for your divorce.

Next is unreasonable behaviour and this can encompass a whole host of things but in essence means that you cannot bear to live with your spouse anymore. Your spouse could be abusive, whether physically or mentally or they simply could refuse to help out with the financial costs of running a house and having a family. Both of these examples are unreasonable behaviour and could therefore be used in your divorce petition.

The third is desertion which can be used where your spouse left you without you agreeing to the split and without having a good reason to leave you. They will need to have left in order to end the relationship and have been gone for at least two years in the last two and half.

You may seek a divorce if you have lived apart from each other for a period of two years and you both agree that you want a divorce. Your spouse must demonstrate their agreement in writing in these circumstances to support your grounds for divorce.

Lastly, where your spouse does not agree with the divorce, you must live apart from them for a period of five years. This can then be used as reasonable grounds for divorce.

You can see that the five grounds for divorce are relatively straightforward, but your solicitor will give you advice about which one to use in the divorce petition in the event that several apply.

This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat
Solicitor
0207 183 2898

All You Need To Know About Intestacy

Most of us won’t have heard the term intestacy unless we have been involved with a relative who died without leaving a Will. The laws of intestacy govern who inherits from the estate of someone who died without a valid Will and therefore left no instructions about their wishes.

From the 1st October 2014, the intestacy laws have been updated to try to better reflect the diverse society we now live in, however in many respects this has not been achieved.

There has been a huge drive from legal representatives to include ‘common law’ partners, who have been living together for five years or who have children and have lived together for two years, into the intestacy laws.

Currently if you and your partner live together but do not marry, it does not matter how long you have been together nor if you have children, you will not inherit anything from your partner’s estate when they die if they do not leave a Will. The recent changes have still not encompassed ‘common law’ partners though and it is crucial to ensure that you both make a valid Last Will and Testament to avoid the serious upheaval, upset and financial difficulties that will follow if you don’t.

Changes have been made to the amount a spouse will receive from an estate worth more than £250,000 and this has increased, particularly if the couple did not have any children. Under previous intestacy rules, a spouse would only receive the first £450,000 plus income for life from half of the remaining estate. The residue was divided between the blood relatives of the person who died. Under the new intestacy laws, the surviving spouse will receive all of the estate.

The rules have been simplified for surviving children who inherit part of their parent’s estate through the intestacy rules. Originally, the surviving parent would get £250,000 and only an interest in half of the remaining estate and the other half of the money would be divided up and given to the children under complex rules and regulations.

Under the revised intestacy laws, a spouse will take the first £250,000 and half of the remainder of the estate. The rest is divided equally between the children and kept in trust until they are 18 years old.

One other major change abolishes an extremely odd legal anomaly. Under the previous system, if a child was adopted after their parent had died, they would lose all entitlement to inherit from the estate. The intestacy laws now recognises the right of the child to their inheritance whether or not they are adopted by someone else.

You can avoid anyone in your family being subjected to the intestacy laws by making a Will so you can decide who inherits from your estate and protect your family at the same time.

This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat
Solicitor
0207 183 2898

Good News For Same Sex Couples

The government has confirmed that any couples who have their civil partnership converted to same-sex marriages will have the marriage certificates backdated to the date of registration of the civil partnership.

This means that couples will not receive a conversion certificate as had been previously suggested (and to a large extent what same sex couples wished for).

Couples in England and Wales will be able to convert their civil partnerships to marriages from 10th December 2014.

This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat
Solicitor
0207 183 2898