The breakdown of a marriage is one of the most stressful things that we can experience in life. However, our Divorce Solicitors have many years of experience between them to be able to ensure that at such a time you receive the most appropriate advice and to offer you practical support during this difficult time.
What is a Divorce?
If you have made the decision that your marriage is at an end and you wish to have it legally dissolved, then you will need to issue divorce proceedings. Our Divorce Solicitors can advise you on the grounds for divorce and help you through the process from start to finish.
Grounds for divorce
You must have been married at least a year before you can issue divorce proceedings. However, if the marriage breaks down before your first anniversary you wish to consider Separation as an alternative means to resolve matters.
You must file a petition with the Court that sets out the reason why the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The person who issues the petition is called the Petitioner or Applicant and the person who is the other party, is called the Respondent. The grounds are:
- The Respondent has committed adultery within the last 6 months and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent.
- The Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent.
- The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for 2 years
- The parties have lived apart for 2 years and both agree to a divorce.
- The parties have lived apart for 5 years.
Arrangements for the Children
The arrangements for any children need to be considered before the divorce proceedings are issued, such as where and with whom they are to live, where they are to go to school, what contact they will have with each parent and any other relevant matters that concern children, including maintenance. You must complete a form called the "Statement of Arrangements for the Children". More details are provided under our Children section. The Court has a duty to consider the arrangements for children before it will allow the divorce to proceed. If matters cannot be agreed between you then it may be necessary to look at the other options available to resolve these problems such as Mediation, Collaborative Law or Court Proceedings. Our divorce Solicitors have the expertise to assist you in all of these areas.
Division of the assets can be complex. Most divorces involve the matrimonial home, pensions and maintenance issues, family run businesses can also be an issue. Our Solicitors have a depth of experience and knowledge to be able to advise on all kinds of cases, from the modest to high net worth. Our Divorce Solicitors have local links with experts that we call on from time to time to provide us with independent accountancy services, company and business valuations, property valuations and tax advice.
One of your main concerns following a separation and/or divorce proceedings is how your financial position will be affected. A useful service is one that is provided by www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/ which offers tips on budgeting and a finance healthcheck.
How can we help?
Our team of Divorce Solicitors have years of experience in advising clients on divorce and complex financial settlments, including pensions and family businesses. Our Divorce Solicitors can discuss all the options available to help you decide which is the best option to help you through this difficult time in your life.