Image for Divorce Article - Divorce spelt in tiles

It is not possible to start divorce proceedings within the first year of a marriage (although things that happen during that first year can be used as evidence in proceedings after the first year).

However there are a number of measures that we can take on your behalf:


A decree of nullity can be obtained to say that the marriage is void (treated as never having existed) or voidable (valid until the date of the decree of nullity).

Separation Agreement

We can prepare a separation agreement for you (please see our separate article for details).

Protection from violence

Protection from violence, for example non molestation orders, can be obtained under Part IV Family Law Act 1996.

Maintenance Proceedings

During the course of proceedings we can apply to the court on your behalf for maintenance to be paid to you by your spouse.

Welfare Benefits Advice

You may be entitled to welfare benefits.  Any maintenance payments would be taken into account.


We can help you deal with the issue of who your children will live with after a separation, how much time they will spend with the other parent and how the arrangements can be made to benefit everyone.

After the First Year of Marriage

After the first year of marriage you can apply for a divorce.  An application must be made to the court setting out the reason(s) that the marriage is at an end (or has ‘irretrievably broken down’).  Only one of the five following reasons will be accepted by the court:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years separation – with consent to divorce from spouse
  • Five years separation

For further advice or to arrange your free initial consultation please contact Rachel, Amanda, Kathryn or Jonathon on Plymouth 01752 668246 or send an email by clicking here.

Rachel Shoheth
Amanda Lyons
Kathryn Akintunde
Jonathon Yates