The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Tori Adams of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
There is one ground for a divorce, and that is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. However, the court cannot make a finding of irretrievable breakdown unless it is satisfied that one or more of the five facts set out in section 1(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) has been proved.
The rules concerning the procedure for applying for cross-decrees are not as clear as they could be, and, as a consequence, there are differing views as to the approach to be taken.
If the respondent in divorce proceedings wishes to seek a matrimonial order against the petitioner, then, within the prescribed time period, they must issue their own petition, unless the court gives permission to do so afterwards (Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 7.14). Butterworths Family Law Service notes that while it may normally be the case that a respondent in defended proceedings will wish to not only defend proceedings but also to seek their own order, it will be possible for the respondent to simply issue their own petition and not to file an answer so that the case (if the respondent’s petition is not defended) can proceed undefended on cross-decrees. The Family Court Practice (The Red Book), however, notes that since the introduction of FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, if a respondent to the original petition wishes
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