We understand that the breakdown of a marriage is a highly stressful and emotional time. If you need to talk to a solicitor about a divorce, we would be happy to help and advise you at any point throughout the process. Talking to an experienced solicitor can be invaluable, providing reliable and practical advice and support at a difficult time.
Divorce is the legal process that dissolves a marriage. Once the divorce is finalised, you are no longer married.
In order to obtain a divorce, the court has to be shown that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. There are five ways of showing this, which are the Respondent’s adultery, the Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour, two years separation with the Respondent’s consent, desertion by the Respondent for a period of two years, and separation for five years.
To start the divorce, a divorce petition has to be completed and issued out of your nearest Regional Divorce Centre. The fee to start proceedings is £550 unless you are eligible for a fee remission (an application has to be made for this). This means you may not have to pay all or part of the court fee.
The court no longer needs to know what arrangements have been made for the children of the family. If there is an issue over the arrangements for the children, parents are expected to resolve these themselves. Preferably any problems will be resolved without the use of court, for example through mediation, but the court can be used when no other option is available.
Family breakdown is rarely limited to divorce, and the emotional and financial needs of the children and the parties need to be considered. Further details are provided in the Children, and Financial Settlement section.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. Is it 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
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