Common Legal Questions: Divorce
Posted on 13th November 2019
That’s why, when our clients instruct us to act on their behalf with divorce proceedings, our divorce experts provide them with a detailed explanation of the process and some answers to the most FAQs. So, what questions should you ask your local divorce experts when instructing them to act on your behalf in divorce proceedings?
I just don’t like my husband anymore, do I need a reason to divorce him, or is this enough?
In England and Wales, to be able to get a divorce, you must be able to say that all the following are true:-
• You, or your spouse, would say that their permanent home is the UK.
• The relationship between you and your spouse has permanently broken down.
• Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK, including same-sex marriages, which became legal in the UK on 13 March 2014.
• And, finally, that you have been married for at least a year.
If you’ve been married for less time than a year, you will have to wait until a year has passed before you can get legally divorced.
If you satisfy all of the above, you will need to provide evidence to the Court that your relationship with your spouse has irretrievably broken down, by proving one of the following five facts:
• That your spouse has committed adultery
• That your spouse’s behaviour has been unreasonable enough that you cannot be expected to remain married to them
• That your spouse has deserted you
• You and your spouse have lived apart for a period of at least two years, and your spouse consents to the divorce
• You and your spouse have lived apart from a period of at least five years, even if your spouse does not want to get divorced
My friends don’t think my reasons for not wanting to be with my spouse are good enough. What reasons do people have for getting divorced?
Well, by no means an exhaustive list, our family solicitors see some common reasons for divorce on a daily basis, including:
• Infidelity or lack of commitment
• Abuse (physical, verbal and mental)
• Financial problems
• Communication problems
• Drug abuse
• Lack of intimacy and falling out of love
However, our family lawyers would explain that marriages don’t always break down due to the fault of one party; sometimes, the marriage just isn’t working out, and the best thing for both parties is to end it.
Unfortunately, as the law currently stands, there is no such thing as a ‘no fault divorce’, although this is set to change in the future - keep your eyes peeled for updates on our blog!
I have never been to Court before, and I don’t want to; will I have to go to Court?
Generally, with a simple divorce, you will find that you do not have to go to Court. However, our expert family law team would explain that if you and your spouse have financial matters to agree upon, and you cannot reach an agreement between yourselves, or through your solicitors, you may find that you have to attend Court. A lot of couples believe that keeping matters out of the Courts, and as amicable as possible will be better for each other and often, their children.
I want to make sure that I can budget for my divorce, how much will it cost me?
Unlike some family law solicitors, our solicitors in Lancaster and Preston want our clients to know where they stand from the outset of their matter; our divorce fees are fixed, and different divorce packages can be tailored to your needs. You may just require our help with the initial stages, which we offer at a fixed fee of just £175.00 plus VAT, or you may require our help with the whole process from start to finish, which we offer at a fixed fee of £495.00 plus VAT. The Court issue fee is currently £550.00, and this is payable in full, up-front, before the Court will issue your petition. In some circumstances, you may be eligible for a fee remission, in which case you may only have to pay part of the fee - or none at all. Our family solicitors can help you to complete this form, at either our Preston or Lancaster offices, or over the ‘phone - whichever way works for you.
My spouse and I have agreed to split the costs, can we both come in and see you?
Unfortunately, no. Even if you and your spouse are both amicable and happy to split the costs of the divorce equally between you, one of you will need to instruct our team of family solicitors, and the other will either need to act in person, or instruct their own solicitor. If we are acting on behalf of the respondent in divorce proceedings, we charge up to £375.00 plus VAT.
I think we should split everything 50/50, is this normal?
Like most legal matters, it can depend on the circumstances of your divorce. One major factor will be if there are any children of the parties to care for, and whether one parent therefore requires more of the assets to do this. All of the parties’ assets, both joint and sole (depending on the length of the marriage) can be taken into account. The best thing to do when you’re asked to provide full financial disclosure, is to seek legal advice. You can find out how to contact your local family solicitors, here.
Do I need to instruct a solicitor?
Like many legal matters now-a-days, you can issue a divorce petition yourself online. However, local divorce solicitors will be able to offer you expert advice and assistance in what is already an incredibly stressful time. The family solicitors will be able to advise you on what information you should be asking your spouse for, and what you need to provide. They will also be able to let you know where you stand with your spouse, and try to help your relationship reach an amicable conclusion, without adding extra stress to your life.
If you use a solicitor, it can also help to avoid any complications in the future, such as when you come to get remarried, or if you pass away and your former spouse tries to make a claim against your estate (which is also something that our expert Wills and probate solicitors can help with!).
My religion doesn’t accept divorce, but I don’t want to stay legally married, what can I do?
Well, there may be some other options to you in these circumstances. We would suggest contacting our local family solicitors, here, to find out your options, and what fees would be involved.
Don’t forget - our local family solicitors offer fixed fees and home visits, by appointment.
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