The Divorce Process
If you are contemplating starting the divorce process, or have had it thrust upon you, there are several questions that you will need answering:
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 has had one 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 divorce unit 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 is 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 only 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 regardless. 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 (where one side doesn’t want it to happen or won’t co-operate) or one where financial and/or children issues have to be dealt with takes longer and, subject to the circumstances, can become very expensive.
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. For example, there will be an effect on your will. It is also important not to remarry unless you are sure how it 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.