What Is The UK Divorce Process? If you are considering a divorce, you will want to understand how the UK divorce process works. We will eplain that for you in this article.
The UK Divorce Process
If you are going through the difficult process of a divorce, you will generally be represented by a divorce solicitor. They will make sure that your rights and interests are protected, to include reaching agreement over issues such as finances, property and children.
At Solicitors Near Me, our hand-picked divorce lawyers are experts in family and divorce law, chosen both for their legal excellence and their exceptional levels of client service.
What Is The UK Divorce Process?
There are a number of important steps in the UK divorce process that will need to be gone through in order to ensure that you have the right legal agreements in place to protect your position.
Set out below are the key stages in obtaining a divorce as well as details of the other issues that will generally be dealt with alongside a divorce.
Irretrievable Breakdown Of Your Relationship And Applying For A Divorce
Once you have been married for a year, you can apply for a divorce if your relationship has irretrievably broken down.
An application stating this can be submitted to the court online. You will then be required to wait for a twenty-week ‘cooling-off’ period.
If after this time you still wish to go ahead with your divorce, you can ask the court for a conditional order. This is the first step in obtaining a divorce.
Six weeks after the date of the conditional order you can ask the court for a final order.
It is generally recommended that other issues are dealt with before a divorce is finalised however, including agreeing on how property will be divided, how financial matters will be dealt with and what arrangements will be made for any children you have.
It is advisable to ask an expert divorce solicitor to represent you to ensure that issues are dealt with in the correct way and that any agreements are sealed by the court so that they are legally binding.
If you are not able to agree on certain points, your solicitor will also be able to negotiate on your behalf to try and resolve matters.
Where agreement cannot be reached, the next step is usually to consider whether mediation can help. This is done by attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, also referred to as a MIAM.
A neutral mediator will speak to you and your spouse to explain the possible benefits of mediation, such as a quicker and more cost-effective solution and more control over the outcome.
Mediation can be used in respect of property, financial affairs and issues relating to children.
It can help prevent a relationship from deteriorating and is particularly useful when children are involved as parents can be helped to work together to put the best arrangements in place.
Where issues cannot be settled amicably, you may need to ask the court to decide. The court can also be asked to seal any agreement that you have made, so that it is legally binding on both of you.
It is crucial to reach a financial settlement if you will be divorcing. Without a sealed order from the court, it could be open to your former spouse to make a financial claim against you long into the future.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you of what you can expect from a financial settlement. The court’s aim will be to arrive at a fair division of assets. The needs of any children of the relationship will be a priority and the court will ensure their welfare is taken care of first.
While the starting point will be an equal division of assets, the court will also take into account the needs of each party. Should one be in a weaker financial position, perhaps because they have given up their career to raise children, they may be awarded a larger share of the assets.
Arrangements for children
You can also expect to put arrangements for children in place at the time you divorce. This will set out details such as where your children will live, how long they will spend with each parent, who else they will see and how they will keep in touch with their parents while they are apart.
Your solicitor can negotiate the details on your behalf. If negotiation does not work, you will generally have to consider mediation as a next step.
Once an agreement is reached, the court can put it into a binding consent order that you can both rely upon.
Expert Local Family Law And Divorce Solicitors
Having the right advice as you go through the divorce process is vital. It will mean that you do not inadvertently miss out on something to which you are entitled or agree to something that is not in your best interests.
Using an experienced family law solicitor to negotiate on your behalf can help you reach an agreement more quickly and also reduce conflict around difficult issues.
Do You Need Help Finding Divorce Solicitors Near Me?
Using local solicitors is often advantageous, meaning you can pop in when necessary to drop off or sign documents and to attend meetings. If you need help finding the best local divorce solicitors, we can match you with an expert.
Our service in matching you with a solicitor is completely free of charge. You can contact a solicitor suggested by us and decide whether you want to engage them. Only once you instruct them to act on your behalf will you be liable for their costs.