Your marriage seems to have turned into a disaster. The relationship isn’t working, you are arguing all the time. And it seems that there is nothing else you can do to fix your family and still be together as a couple. So now you are thinking about seperation. It could solve the problem and finally give you a happy life. But there are lots of things to consider before divorce. And some of them might not be that obvious.
1. How long will the divorce take?
Quickie Divorce just doesn’t exist in England and Wales. From the moment you file for divorce, it will take weeks before you hear back from the court that you can even petition for divorce – then you must wait for your ex-spouse to acknowledge, then wait for the court to list your application for decree nisi and then wait longer for the decree absolute to be granted And if you’ve not sorted the finances and the children out don’t even think about applying for the absolute. Without strong driving of your case, you could easily be looking at 18 months to sort everything out if your case becomes bogged down in court hearings.
2. Morality doesn’t mean much in court
Blame is irrelevant in divorce cases. Just because someone cheated or behaved badly is not something the court considers. Courts don’t give bigger settlements to the party who suffered the bad behaviour. So if your partner had numerous affairs don’t think the court will take it out financially on your ex. The court doesn’t pass moral judgements on your marriage.
The court will look to split all the marital pot 50/50. Just because you weren’t the main earner doesn’t mean you will lose out. The court will look to divide all the marital assets fairly considering each party’s needs going forward after ensuring any children are provided for. The person who was financially weaker will not lose out.
4. Prenuptial Agreement
Did you bring any assets into the marriage? Well, if you did unless there is a prenuptial agreement the court is likely to say all assets of the marriage are to be used to evaluate what each person’s needs are going forward. Even a prenup isn’t always considered if it would mean an unfair outcome. Especially in long marriages courts say all the assets have mingled together over time so all assets will be looked at to achieve equal distribution and meet the children and housing needs.
5. Don’t lie to the court
Don’t think about withholding information about your assets. You must disclose all your financial information to your ex even if it changes as the divorce progresses. If you do, all it will achieve is taking the whole divorce process even longer and if the court does find out it will certainly order wasted costs against you for lack of disclosure and ultimately in the worst of cases, penal notices could be ordered against you.
6. Divorce is not the time to become a spy
Don’t spy on your ex during the divorce process. It might be tempting to read their emails if you know the password or look at his or hers bank statements online, but this is against the law and could end up with a prison sentence. Do also think about changing all of your own passwords to prevent it from happening to you.
7. Do I need to worry about moving out of the family house?
No. You will not be penalised if you choose to move out of the family home. By moving out you do not give up any legal rights. If you live in a property that is owned in the sole name of your spouse and you are concerned about protecting any rights to that property, there are ways in which those rights can be protected.
8. What happens to the children?
In considering divorce proceedings the courts adopt a “no order principle” regarding the children of the family and it is for the parents to resolve matters relating to the children. Parents are encouraged to resolve these issues outside of court, perhaps in mediation or arbitration. Courts must take account of the principle that both parents should continue to be involved in their children’s lives where that is safe and consistent with the child’s welfare. Court proceedings however should be the last resort.
9. Paying for a divorce
Finally, consider how you are going to pay for the divorce. At Fair Result we will evaluate your case and provide you with a fixed fee for the whole divorce, not just the application for the nisi and absolute. That the easy bit – it’s the cost of sorting out the finances and the children where your costs will skyrocket with law firms charging by the hour. So choosing Fair Result, who will give you a fixed fee for everything right at the start and this won’t change even if your ex tries to bully you into a settlement which is just not fair because you don’t have the finances to fight back – even if it takes 18 months you won’t pay a penny until is all sorted.
If we can help you with matrimonial, or any other legal queries you have, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation.