Rumour has it that Kim Kardashian intends to divorce Kris Humphries after only 72 days of marriage!
They had a lavish wedding ceremony and reportedly entered into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, which may go some way to protecting Kim’s substantial wealth.
Of course, what happens in Hollywood does not necessarily apply in England, where it is not possible for spouses to divorce until one year after they have been married. This is to encourage spouses to work on their marriage, rather than to give up at the first sign of difficulty.
Here, not only do you have to wait for a year after the marriage, but your solicitor will also need to file with the Court a document called a “Statement of Reconciliation”. In this document your solicitor has to state whether or not you have discussed the issue of marriage counselling and whether you have been given details of where you can obtain counselling.
It is however not an obstacle to obtaining a divorce if you have chosen not to go to marriage counselling. In order to divorce, you will need to show that your marriage has broken down irretrievably and this can be evidenced by one or more of five different facts which are set out in statute.
The facts which can evidence the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage are as follows:
1. The spouses have been separated for five years.
2. The spouses have been separated for two years and the Respondent spouse (the spouse receiving the Petition) consents to a decree being granted on this basis.
4. The Respondent spouse’s admitted or proved adultery.
5. The Respondent spouse’s “unreasonable behaviour”.
The test for unreasonable behaviour is a subjective one, but it is necessary to set out at least four or five examples of the unreasonable behaviour, and these need to be significantly serious before a Judge looking at the petition, will be prepared to put the Petition in the list to pronounce Decree Nisi.
This can prove particularly difficult when husband and wife have simply “grown apart” and no other fact exists. Growing apart is not a basis for showing irretrievable breakdown of marriage. In these instances the parties may wish to wait for a period of two years from when they initially separated, before one of them petitions for divorce.