Domestic Violence & Abuse

Blanchards Law is a niche family law practice with divorce solicitors, mediators and collaborative lawyers.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Can I get divorced on domestic abuse grounds?

Yes, you can get a divorce by citing domestic abuse.

In the UK there are five scenarios in which a divorce can be granted, they are:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years’ separation with the other party’s consent
  • Five years’ separation

Domestic abuse is clear evidence of unreasonable behaviour and can certainly form the basis for a divorce within the UK system.

In order to clarify what we mean by domestic abuse it is worth looking at the definition provided by the Government:

Any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass but is not limited to:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Any one or combination of these behaviours can be used in a divorce petition as evidence of unreasonable behaviour.

Many of our clients come to us in circumstances where they have been the victim of abuse within their marriage, both women and men.

The majority of domestic abuse is emotional and psychological. An abusive spouse may escalate their behaviours to physical abuse where they become violent or sexually aggressive. If you are the victim of these abuses within a marriage, we can build up an effective case that your marriage has broken down due to unreasonable behaviour.

As a client you will always receive a completely confidential, discreet and empathic service. We are very aware that talking about abuse is difficult, but you can be assured that here at Blanchards Law you will be given the time you need in comfortable surroundings to talk about abuse related issues. We will then help you navigate a safe and effective way out.

Coercive Control & Divorce

While physical and sexual abuse tends to be more recognisable, other forms of abuse are equally relevant when discussing unreasonable behaviour. These may include psychological, financial and emotional manipulation of one spouse by another.

These three forms of abuse can all be considered as forms of coercive control. Indeed the 2015 Serious Crime Act has criminalised coercive control punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

The legislation sets out controlling behaviour as:

A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from the source of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their regulating their everyday behaviour.

Many victims of domestic abuse will recognise these behaviours and we can use evidence of them in a divorce petition.

Examples of these behaviours would include, but are not limited to:

  • Being prevented from working
  • Being told what to wear and how to behave
  • Having their social life controlled
  • Being threatened with violence
  • Having children, family members or pets threatened
  • Having little or no access to finances, cash or cards
  • Being isolated from friends and family
  • Being told what to eat and drink
  • Having online and social media accounts monitored or controlled
  • Being blamed for problems caused by the perpetrator
  • Being repeatedly humiliated and verbally abused
  • Feeling frightened all the time

Controlling behaviour affects men as well as women, though men can find it more difficult to “open up” and talk about it. We treat all our clients equally without judgement. Blanchards Law’s clients receive an empathetic service, sound advice and an effective strategy built around your individual circumstances.

We know divorce as a result of domestic violence can be intimidating, but our sympathetic solicitors will confidently guide you through the legal system to arrive at a safe and fair settlement.

Remember that you are not alone, and advice from solicitors is only one of the many resources available to you:

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

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