Thinking About Getting Divorced or if you’re facing a divorce, then you have a lot to think about. From deciding who is going to start the process, to dividing your finances, there are many practicalities to consider. In the meantime, here are eight things you need to consider before starting the divorce process.
Thinking About Getting Divorced
What are your grounds for divorce?
Thinking About Getting Divorced. To get a divorce in England and Wales, you must prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. To do this, you must show that one of the following has taken place –
- Unreasonable behaviour
- You have been living separately for two years and you both agree to the divorce
- You have been living separately for five years
You must decide which to use in your divorce. However, it is not always straightforward. For example, if you want to use adultery, then the person who committed the adultery cannot start divorce proceedings.
Who is going to start the divorce process?
When you divorce, one person must take the lead and submit the divorce petition. Thereafter, this person is known as the Petitioner. The other is known as the Respondent. You must decide between you who is going to start the divorce process. Each of you will have to fill in various forms. Generally, the Petitioner has more work to do. The Petitioner must also pay a fee, although it can be recovered from/shared with the Respondent.
How are you going to split your finances?
During the course of a relationship, it is normal for finances to become entwined. When the relationship breaks down, it can be difficult to know how to split your assets and debts. This is one of the most contentious areas of divorce. You might have an idea of how you want to divide your finances, yet your ex-partner might have other views on the subject. Before agreeing to anything, it is recommended that you speak to a specialist divorce solicitor to clarify your rights and obligations. There are many factors to consider and it is not always as simple as a 50/50 split. You could be entitled to a share of your ex-partner’s assets that you have not even realised, such as their pension.
Who is going to keep the family home?
Another common concern is – who is going to keep the family home? You may both have a financial and emotional attachment to the property. This can result in stalemate, where neither person wants to move out. The solution really depends on your individual circumstances. If you have children, then their needs come first. Typically, this means that the primary care-giver is allowed to remain in the family home. Even so, there may be a way to compensate the person who must move out. For instance, you can get court orders that say the sale of the matrimonial property must be deferred until the children have grown up, after which the equity must be divided equally.
Where are the children going to live?
If there are children in the relationship, then important questions such as where they are going to live, and how much time they spend with the non-resident parent, must be answered. As the non-resident parent, you might be concerned about your involvement in your child’s life. However, a child has a right to have a relationship with both parents (so long as there is no risk of violence, abuse or neglect). Precisely what this looks like in practical terms must be negotiated between you.
Thinking about divorce Could mediation help?
If you cannot agree on things such as the division of your finances or childcare arrangements, have you thought about mediation? In fact, all divorcing couples must now attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The exception is where mediation would not be suitable, perhaps because of the threat of domestic violence. Otherwise, mediation can be a useful tool to resolve your differences during the divorce process.
Thinking About Getting Divorced Are you prepared to go to court?
If mediation does not prove successful, your next option is to negotiate with the help of a specialist divorce solicitor. After this, your final option is to argue the matter in court. It is always preferable to avoid litigation through the courts where possible, as it can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful. You need to decide whether you are prepared for this kind of divorce battle.
Do you need a specialist divorce solicitor?
Not everyone who gets a divorce uses a lawyer. Even so, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a specialist divorce solicitor throughout the process. A solicitor can handle the paperwork for you, advise you of your rights, negotiate arrangements on your behalf, and if needed, argue your case in court. This can relieve a significant burden from your shoulders, giving you peace of mind that you are getting the best out of a sad situation.
Advice from Ashmans Solicitors who have 6 local offices
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First Published Ashmans Solicitors , Content no longer available
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