Dissolution vs Divorce: Which is Right For You?


If you are considering leaving your partner, you might be wondering what the next step is and what the process entails. While this is never an easy decision to make, it’s important to be aware of what’s involved in ending your marriage or civil partnership.

Whether you are a married couple or have entered into a civil partnership, think carefully about whether ending it is the right thing for you and your family. Here, Carole Nettleton Divorce Solicitor offers some insight into the right process.

Marriage vs civil partnership

In 2005, the law changed to allow same-sex couples to achieve similar rights as marriage, by entering into a civil partnership. By 2014, this evolved and same-sex couples were also allowed to marry. Civil partnerships also became available for heterosexual couples in 2019.

A civil partnership is essentially a legal relationship that can be registered between two people, and gives the relationship legal recognition. While marriages and civil partnerships are a similar concept, a civil partnership is purely a civil event with no spoken words and no ceremony necessary.

Ending a marriage

You can get a divorce in England and Wales only if you have been married for at least a year. Ending a marriage is done by obtaining a decree absolute, but it will only be granted for a number of reasons.

Grounds for divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Two years of desertion
  • Two years of separation, although you must have consent from the other party
  • Five years of separation, with no need for consent

The divorce process can take around 6 months, although you may not wish to apply for the decree absolute until all financial matters are resolved.

Ending a civil partnership

A civil partnership is brought to an end through dissolution, not divorce. This can only be processed if one partner dies, or by applying to court, and you can’t apply for a dissolution until the partnership has lasted for at least a year.

The reasons for dissolution are similar to divorce, but they don’t include adultery. This means you can apply for a dissolution order due to unreasonable behaviour, desertion or separation.

A dissolution gives each party in the civil partnership the same financial outcome as if it were a marriage going through the divorce process. In both instances, it’s important to consider income, capital and pension fund and both parties are expected to give full disclosure. 

No-fault divorce

In April 2022, the Government will enforce a change in the law that means both married couples and those in civil partnerships can end their relationship by applying for a no-fault divorce or dissolution.

This means couples will no longer have to attribute blame to either party. Currently, if you apply for a divorce or dissolution on the grounds of your relationship irretrievably breaking down, you typically have to provide proof of fault or wrong-doing. The update to the law will remove this requirement.

Applicants will have to wait 20 weeks from the start of the procedure, which gives them time to reflect on their decision and agree on practicalities such as living arrangements and financial agreements.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Jason R. Macias
Jason R. Macias
1 year ago

Deciding to leave your partner is never an easy decision, but it’s important to be aware of what’s involved in the process. Here is a breakdown of the steps you need to take to end your marriage or civil partnership and you can pay for a college paper with https://studyclerk.com/pay-for-college-papers site to manage the task. Keep it up!