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Frequently Asked Questions – Good Divorce Week

In continuing our “Good Divorce Week” Review we set out here some frequently asked questions relating to divorce, finance and children matters:

  • Can I get a divorce?
    A. The answer is yes, if you have come to the decision your marriage has irretrievably broken down and you have been married for a year.
  • Can my spouse defend the divorce?
    A. Yes, but defended divorces are not common and we can talk through various options with you to avoid such a scenario occurring.
  • Can I avoid saying anything horrible in the divorce petition?
    A. Divorce Proceedings based on “unreasonable behaviour” can be presented in such a way as to avoid further conflict or emotional distress. Equally, you could also consider instigating divorce based upon separation over a qualifying period such as 2 years.
  • When I get my decree absolute am I divorced?
    A. Yes, once you have Decree Absolute you are legally divorced (single) and should you so wish, are free to re-marry.
  • Is spousal maintenance on divorce available?
    A. Yes, the court has the power to make this order in certain circumstances where your spouse is required to assist you with meeting your day to day needs.
  • Will it be paid for the rest of my life?
    A. Spousal maintenance for life is not a default position as there is an expectation for the recipient to become, if possible, financial independent. However the level of maintenance and length of time someone receives it are all down to the individual case.
  • Will I get it whilst my children are small?
    A. Whether you are entitled to spousal maintenance will depend on a number of factors that are individual to your case.
  • Do I need to get a job?
    A. Whether you “need” to get a job will be something that is considered during any discussions concerning the financial issues pertinent to your case. There remains an expectation however, that if possible, you should look to make the transition to financial independence as soon as is practicable.


  • If I separate from my partner, will I be able to see my children?
    A. Yes, unless there are valid concerns about their safety.
  • We can’t talk to each other, how can I arrange contact?
    A. Try enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member, a Mediator or a Solicitor.
  • We cannot agree – what next?
    A. It may be necessary to apply to the Family Court for a Child Arrangements Order.
  • Can I do that myself or do I need a lawyer?
    A. You can do it yourself but an experienced Solicitor can provide valuable advice and representation.
  • What is CAFCASS?
    A. CAFCASS stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. You may better know them as Court Welfare Officers. CAFCASS are independent experts appointed by the Court to advise on what is safe for children and what arrangements would promote their best interests.
  • Why do CAFCASS get involved?
    A. CAFCASS are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies. They independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. They are charged with putting the child’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting.


When considering divorce ……………………………………..


D on’t let anger cloud your thinking.


I   gnore the temptation to entrench your position.


oice your view using conciliatory language


O ffers should be made reasonably.


R emember to consider how your responses and actions will affect your husband or wife.


C hild focussed approach should always be at the forefront of the parties’ mind.


ncourage dialogue, be considerate of each other to ensure a positive outcome.


Kerseys Family Law Solicitors offers tailored-made solutions for divorcing and separating couples. Whilst our standard working day is 9.00am to 17.15pm, our Family Lawyers are flexible to support your needs and will if possible arrange out of hours online appointments for you, visit our web site and click “Call Me Back” to request a free call back or telephone us on Ipswich 01473 213311 or Colchester 01206 584584 or email us at [email protected]

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