Time for a divorce? A lawyers guide to a divorce
Divorce process can be a very stressful and emotional period in your life, but if you do everything correctly it should go relatively smoothly, thereby sparing you mental and financial difficulties. Read our blog to gain more information about the divorce process in the UK and how to navigate that difficult period of life with more ease.
How to get a divorce
You can get a divorce in the UK if you meet the following requirements:
- You have been married for over a year
- Your relationship has been broken down
- Your marriage is recognised in the UK (the same-sex marriage too)
- UK is your home, or the permanent home of your spouse.
If you both agree on divorce and the reasons for you, you might be able to have a quicky divorce without engaging a solicitor. However, if you have assets or children then it’s always a good idea to get a divorce solicitor involved, as otherwise you risk making mistakes that can cost you dearly in the future.
Our solicitors can help make things clearer for you and guide you in respect of how to achieve the best possible outcomes for you. They can negotiate with your spouse or their solicitor to reach suitable agreements on all the relevant aspects, thus ensuring that things can be wrapped up quickly.If everything goes smoothly and agreement is reached on all the divorce terms, the finalised divorce process will not take long – around 4-6 months. But if you need to sort out issues with money or children separation might last significantly longer.
Before applying for divorce, it’s always a good idea to talk with your ex-partner to gauge whether common grounds can be found in respect of reasons for a divorce. If you are not in good enough terms with your partner and you believe that an agreement will not be possible, it might be an idea to engage a solicitor to make the first contact. In any vent, if one of the partners does not want to divorce, or disagrees with the reasons for it, then a legal advice will be needed.
Often enough, due to lack of legal knowledge and foresight, the couples fail to identify the possible sticking pints in the divorce. Therefore, in all case, getting a legal advice from solicitor is always prudent, because there might appear different issues during the divorce process.
Many of you might have heard about no fault divorce, it is coming into force in the autumn of 2021. No fault divorce means that there will no longer be need to identify the guilty party. This make people’s lives easier in the event of divorce. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you will be happy in your marriage and the reasons for failed marriages aren’t always obvious or easy to trace to a certaine behaviour. Therefore, eliminating the need to point out the guilty party in a divorce, will ensure that if things go wrong you can just divorce without any guilt, hurt, offence and confusing procedures. You can read more about no fault divorce in our previous blog.
What is the divorce process in the UK
The divorce process in the UK can be really complicated and have many emotional and practical implications. This in particular rings true, if there are problems with division of assets and custody of children, but a good solicitor can help you to handle everything and make things easier.
How long the process will take, depends on the particulars of the matter. In average, we can say that divorce process can last from 3 months to a year.
You need to take time and plan all the steps and make preparations. This way the process can become much easier. You should aim to clear in your mind what you expect of your future and set your mind for serious work.
Here is an average divorce preparation checklist:
- Discuss everything with your spouse. Try to explain why you made this decision, if the idea of divorce is yours.
- Do housing arrangements, as after the divorce is finalised you will not be living together anymore. Make a budget out of your expenses and income to understand how you will meet your financial obligations.
- Think about the future of your children. If you have children, think with whom they should stay. You need to tell them everything honestly. There also many other issues with children’s care after divorce ( who is going to have primary custody of the children, who will pay the child support and e.c.)
- Find a solicitor who will cater your needs. Ask friends and family for recommendations, search online for good solicitors and talk to several of them, until you are sure you have an understanding of what working with a solicitor entails, how much it will cost you roughly and that you can trust them in respect of such an important matter. Remember, divorce can often determine the rest of your life, you cannot make mistakes in this respect.
- Prepare for a divorce financially. Start putting money aside, make living arrangements and prepare yourself emotionally.
- Organise your paperwork. Get it all in one place.
To sum up, you need to figure out what will happen to your kids, assets, house after the divorce, how you will meet your financial obligations and so on, so use your time wisely and be careful.
What are the grounds for divorce in the UK?
Currently, there are 5 grounds for divorce in the UK. The no fault divorce is coming into force only in Autumn 2021, so until then, any divorce will need to meet one of the following grounds:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Living apart for more than 2 years (with one spouse’s consent)
- Living apart for more than 5 years (with no consent from any spouse needed)
The 4 out of these 5 are perhaps self-explanatory. But what about the 5th?
‘Unreasonable behaviour’ was rated as the most common ground for divorce in 2016 and this has been the case since the 1970s, remaining so till present day. Under ‘unreasonable behaviour’ we can understand a myriad of behavioural patterns – alcohol-addiction, drug-addiction, violence, emotional harassment, controlling behaviour etc.
Remember that putting aside all the divorce grounds we mentioned above, the most important is the ‘personal matter’. If you have a problem in your family, if you feel that it’s not working, speak up, open your heart, be brave, just do it. There are many examples of people who found the courage, made this hard decision and live happily now.
Things to consider when getting a divorce
There are many things you should consider before taking the responsibility of such a life-changing event, starting from figuring out whether there is any love left in your relationship, to making a list of financial questions you have to sort out. Here are some tips to help you out.
- Never let emotions lead your financial decisions. No need to do something just because you want to hurt your ex’s feeling, discuss everything with your solicitors.
- Everything is divisible when it comes to marital assets. Even the musical album’s royalties one of the spouses wrote.
- Do not hide your assets, you may damage your prospects in respect of financial settlement if you try to hide assets. Discuss with your solicitors how to protect your assets.
- Study your finances before you split.
- Plan your finances after divorce.
- Compromises could help you. Sometimes agreeing on compromises could help you to save a lot of money and nerves, because once you might win, but the other time you may lose, so negotiation is the way to go.
These are the most important things you should consider in your divorce
All of our solicitors are great experts in their respective fields. We are here to help you from the beginning till the end. Do not hesitate to contact us and change your life for the better.