In cases of domestic abuse, the Church does not expect you to stay with an abusive partner. Listen to what Father Dan Mason has to say:
You can get divorced in England or Wales if all of the following are true:
To find out more about the process, you can ring your local Citizens Advice Bureau. They can explain things about the process like: the documents you’ll need, the price of the court fee and what happens if your partner doesn’t respond to the application.
If you do not want a divorce, you can get a legal separation so you can live apart without ending the marriage. You might also be able to annul the marriage. You can apply for separation or annulment during your first year of marriage.
Annulment (sometimes known as ‘nullity’) is a different way of ending a marriage. Unlike divorce, you can apply for annulment in the first year of your marriage or any time after. However, if you apply years after the wedding, you might be asked to explain the delay. You’ll need to show that the marriage:
If you are receiving universal credit or welfare benefits, you may qualify for legal aid. To apply for legal aid, you will need to give a copy of your 3 most recent bank statements, 3 months’ worth of payslips or evidence of benefits and a letter showing proof of rent.
If you are not eligible for legal aid, you may still be able to get support. The Citizens Advice Bureau can put you in contact with services like Advocate or Local Law Centres.
Over the past few years, we have seen many online ‘Traveller shame pages’ and ‘Gypsy shame pages’ that aim to publicly humiliate other members of their own community. We are finding support services and educating them on the issues of shame, scandal and discrimination.