Getting a divorce in England and Wales
The end of a marriage can be deeply upsetting, and understanding how to get divorced can be particularly difficult. There are many financial and legal matters to discuss but if communication has broken down between you and your former partner this becomes increasingly difficult. You can only get a divorce if you have been married for at least one year. You may even be able to avoid going to court if you can reach an amicable agreement with your ex-partner from the outset. There are a number of issues that you will have to resolve at the end of the marriage which often include:
- How to divide any money and assets you share
- What happens to your home
- Where your children will live going forward
Before you apply for your divorce
Remember that if you have been married less than a year, then you cannot begin the divorce process. If you decide not to end your marriage straight away, you could speak to one of our solicitors about getting a separation agreement. This might be because you and your ex-partner do not want to divorce just yet or have not been married more than a year. This is a good way of making sure you are clear about the terms of your separation until you get divorced.
Grounds for starting the divorce process
We understand how difficult a divorce can be for you and your family. This is why we offer a free 30 minute appointment with a family solicitor to talk you through the process and we are transparent about costs going forward. You and your partner should try to agree on one of these facts commonly referred to as the ‘grounds for divorce’ from the outset:
- one of you has committed adultery
- one of you has behaved unreasonably
- your partner has left you and you’ve lived apart for at least 2 years in total – this is known as ‘desertion’
- If you have lived apart for at least 2 years and you both agree to the divorce
- you have lived apart for at least 5 years – it does not matter if your partner does not agree to the divorce process taking place.
Financial arrangements and the equity in your home
When you separate, you will need to consider how you will divide your money and belongings. This again, can be particularly difficult if the communication has broken down between you and your former partner. We can negotiate with your former partner to reach an agreement with your best interests in mind. If you live with your partner then you will need to decide what happens to your home when you separate. We can advise you on the different options available tailored to your circumstances.
Arrangements for your children and visitation rights
If you have children then you will need agree where they will live and how much time they spend with each of you. When you are doing this, you should try and think about:
- who has the most time to care for the children, and on which days – so you can make sure the children spend quality time with each of you
- the things your children do – for example it might not be best for them to stay somewhere a long way from their schools on a school night
- things that could happen in the future – for example if they might change schools, make sure they can get to their new one easily on a school night
How we can help you with your divorce
If you and your partner have separated then speak to us and book a free initial appointment so that we can explain the divorce process to you and the options that are available to you. Our family department is led by John Chuku who has over 20 years of experience handling family cases. Should you wish to make an appointment, you can contact us online or call us on:
T: 01228 739 907