If you are contemplating starting the divorce process, or have had it thrust upon you, there are several questions that you will need answering:
The Divorce Process
How do I go about getting a divorce? How long will it take? What exactly is involved? How much does it cost? And, what are my rights?
Currently, 1 in 3 marriages break down and we all know someone who is going through a divorce process or have been divorced in the past.
The fact is that every marriage is different, so every divorce process is different. This is why you need a specialist solicitor to guide you through your divorce, offering reassurance, support and expert guidance.
Everybody has the right to seek a divorce if they so decide, with or without the agreement of their spouse.
What is the divorce process?
Step 1) At its most simple, to divorce, you file a document called a petition in a family court or online. You must provide proof that you have been married for more than one year (your marriage certificate), state your grounds for divorce and that your marriage has broken down beyond hope of recovery and pay the fee.
Step 2) The Court posts copies to your spouse who is asked to sign an “acknowledgement of service” and return it to the Court within 8 days. You will need to satisfy the Court that you have grounds for divorce.
Step 3) Once the Judge has confirmed you are entitled to a divorce, it will be “pronounced” in open court.
Step 4) A decree nisi is sent to each spouse, which after a minimum of 6 weeks can be made absolute and the divorce is then final. You are free to marry again (even to each other if you wish).
This is the simple “quickie” divorce process. If both sides agree and there are no complicated issues such as children or finances to resolve it can be finalised in about 6 months.
Do I need a solicitor to get a divorce?
It is sensible to discuss your circumstances with a solicitor before you start. This is to make sure that you are not missing something that you might regret later.
What happens if my spouse doesn’t co-operate with the divorce?
A contested divorce (i.e. one which is defended) or one where financial and/or children issues have to be dealt with takes longer and, subject to the circumstances, can become very expensive. If your spouse doesn’t co-operate the court can make orders which ensure the divorce proceeds.
Agreement always saves time, heartache and money but all too often agreement is a hard-fought battle. This is why you need the services of a specialist divorce and family law solicitor.
What happens after the divorce?
Following decree absolute, the marriage is over but there are other issues to consider. The financial settlement may still need to be resolved. Also there will be an effect on your will. It is also important not to remarry as this will affect any financial claim against your ex-spouse.
If you are planning divorce or have had it thrust upon you, do get in touch for a fixed fee consultation to discuss your particular circumstances and consider the best way forward.