If you are facing divorce, the last thing you need is complex legal issues causing additional stress. Our experts are here to help and have outlined some of the most common questions with helpful, straightforward answers.
What are the grounds for divorce?
In England and Wales, you must demonstrate to the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is established by one or more of the following facts:
1. Adultery – your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live together. This fact is not available for same sex marriages
2. Your spouse has behaved in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect you to continue living together – this is commonly referred to as unreasonable behaviour.
3. Your spouse has deserted you for a period of two years or more.
4. You have lived apart for more than two years and you both agree to the divorce.
5. You have lived apart for more than five years.
I’ve been married for 11 months – can I start divorce proceedings?
No, you can’t issue a divorce petition unless you have been married for more than one year.
Do I need to go to Court?
In most cases you will not need to attend Court as you would usually only need to attend a hearing if the divorce proceedings or claim for costs are contested.
I’ve read about celebrities getting a ‘quickie divorce’ How long will my divorce take?
The divorce process is the same for everyone – whether rich and famous or not. The length of time between issuing divorce proceedings and obtaining a decree absolute, finally ending the marriage can depend on a number of factors, including how long it takes for the Respondent to return the papers to Court and how busy the Court is. There is also a statutory waiting time of six weeks between the granting of the decree nisi and the final decree absolute. However, normally the process takes between 3 – 5 months for a straightforward, uncontested divorce.
Do I need a solicitor or can I do the divorce myself?
There’s a new wave of DIY divorce methods, many which may seem as a cheap way to get the outcome you require. However they tend to create more problems. They are unregulated which means that there are no safeguards in place to ensure that you, the consumer, are protected.
Due to legal complexities it is also very difficult to know whether you have completed such legally binding documents correctly. Often people come to us when they have issued divorce proceedings themselves but then had their petition refused by the Court. On seeking our advice, we have been able to amend the petition but the process has taken longer and incurred further fees so it’s extremely risky to try and cut costs on something so important.
It is also essential to seek advice regarding financial matters. Even if you have no assets you can make sure there are no future claims by obtaining a court order dismissing your financial claims against each other. This is important as there is no time limit for these claims and unless there is a final order, your ex may be able to make a claim years in the future.
Why should I use Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors?
We understand that life is full of ups and downs. Our experienced family lawyers offer compassionate and focused advice at a time when clients are often distressed and upset at the marriage breakdown. We also offer a range of fixed fee packages ranging from initial advice through to a complete divorce package so you can have all the information you need to make the divorce process as simple as possible.
Call Karen Reid on 01254 272640 or email Karen.Reid@whnsolicitors.co.uk