It is entirely possible to have a good divorce and the separating parties are completely in control of how their divorce progresses. If parties are able to discuss matters amicably and are both cooperative in the process it will go as smoothly as possible.
However, the law at the moment requires parties to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by relying on one of five facts which are:-
Therefore, if you wish to divorce before 2 years separation, then the law currently does require you to place blame on the other party whether this be unreasonable behaviour or adultery. This unfortunately can cause difficulties, even where the parties are wanting to deal with matters amicably. It is important that parties remember that it is a requirement of the process to provide such detail in the divorce petition and not necessarily something which the other party wants to do.
However, as a result of years of campaigning there will now be no fault divorce. It is expected that this will be introduced from Autumn 2021 and it is a very welcomed future change to our law. This will allow parties to divorce from one another without any blame being placed on either party. It is really hoped that this will allow for parties to divorce and deal with finances and children much more amicably, removing some of the animosity caused by an unreasonable behaviour petition.
Parties able to work together may wish to consider mediation or the collaborative approach when trying to resolve matters relating to finances and children.
It is best to obtain legal advice from a specialist trained family lawyer. Most importantly, find a lawyer that you can trust and that will understand your concerns and priorities to let you know how best to proceed. Our family lawyers are all registered with the Law Society or CILEx so you know you will receive advice from a trained professional that can help deliver the best outcome for you.
Our family lawyers are also all members of Resolution which is a national organisation of family lawyers committed to dealing with divorce and other family problems in an amicable manner in accordance with a code of conduct. Additionally, some of our team are qualified Collaborative lawyers which further demonstrates our commitment to adopting a non-confrontational approach where possible.
Seona Myerscough, Partner and Head of the Family Team, is a trained mediator and a member of both the FMA and the FMC. Further information on mediation as an alternative method to court can be found here.
Our family team are experts in taking clients through often what is a difficult time and providing them with peace of mind. Our team were listed in the Legal 500 rankings which noted “the team are meticulous about matching clients’ needs with the right path to desired outcomes, such as mediation, court applications, ADR or conciliation meaning better client satisfaction.”
Below we have listed some key things for you to consider when going through a divorce process.
You might find advice from friends and relatives to be helpful but unless they are legally trained the advice may be inaccurate and misleading. It is imperative to obtain independent expert legal advice from a specialist trained family solicitor at an early stage.
It is important that in a financial matter full and frank financial disclosure is achieved at an early stage. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the full circumstances and gives the best chance to reaching a fair agreement to avoid any contested court proceedings.
Once there is an agreement on the financial matters it is vital that a properly drafted financial order is lodged with the court. Without a financial order then all financial claims could be left open and this could result in proceedings in the future which could result in future assets being taken into account.
Contested court proceedings should be a last resort. There are other options you should consider first from mediation, collaborative law, negotiations to arbitration.
It is important that everyone is realistic. It is key to remember that divorce can be a slow process. At present there are considerable delays with the courts.
Costs can easily increase in matrimonial matters. It is important that a keen eye is kept on costs to ensure that they are proportionate to the issues. Costs must be considered at the outset alongside any funding options for the work required.
You should seek support from friends and family to help you through this difficult and challenging period. If needed you may wish to speak to a Counsellor to provide the appropriate support.
It is important to keep an open mind to options be it the method to reach an agreement or the actual settlement itself. There are often many different ways to resolve financial issues and the more options you can consider the better the chance of achieving a resolution that meets your main goals.
Never be afraid to ask questions to your legal advisor. These are important issues and you need to have any queries properly answered.
Whilst a degree of guilt or anger is completely understandable in such emotive times it is important that these do not cloud your judgement. There are different aspects the law can and cannot take into account. As such it is vital you have a professional advisor to help you through the process to ensure that your matter is approached as appropriately as possible.
For more information on how we can help support you through your divorce, please contact one of our family specialists in our Newbury, Thatcham or Maidenhead offices below.