Coming to the decision that your marriage has come to an end is not an easy time. There is heightened emotion and you will also be faced with the difficulties surrounding practicalities of the divorce procedure itself and the financial implications of the separation.

We’ve put together a few frequently asked questions regarding the divorce process.

How do I get a divorce?
To apply for a divorce, you must have been married for at least one year and your relationship must have permanently broken down. The process is now done online. PGM can submit the application for you on the Court portal. A fee of £593 has to be paid to the Court upon issuing the divorce.

What are the grounds for divorce?
Since 6 April 2022, divorce has been on a no-fault basis. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 allows married couples to divorce without assigning blame. The introduction of a no-fault divorce system means that a couple can petition for a divorce jointly without either person being held at fault.

What does the divorce process look like?
1. A single or joint application for a divorce order made.
2. 20 weeks later, the applicant can apply for the conditional decree.
3. 6 weeks later, the Final Order can be made.

How long will my divorce take?
There is a minimum period of 20 weeks between the start of proceedings, or when a court issues application and when the applicant may apply for Conditional Order. There is a current minimum time frame of 6 weeks between Conditional Order and when the Order can be made final. Overall the process will be a have a timeframe of 6 months, but can be longer depending on individual circumstances.

How much will it cost?
We offer a standard pricing structure for our clients. Contact us for further information.

Do I have to use a solicitor to get divorced?
Without specialist legal advice you can get things wrong and this can delay matters and/or increase costs you may not know about it until you are years down the line. Divorces are a permanent process and it can be difficult and highly costly to undo any mistakes that are made. Furthermore, if the divorce involves children or any significant amount of money or other assets, you are strongly advised to use a solicitor.

They can:

  • advise you on what your rights are and what would be a reasonable financial settlement;
  • help you negotiate agreement on financial arrangements and how any children will be looked after;
  • make sure that court documents are correctly completed and filed on time.

What if I change my mind?
You can stop the proceedings at any time before the final order is made. (If your spouse wants to proceed with them, however, they may be able to do so). In those circumstances we would normally recommend that the application is formally dismissed by the Court.

I need to make arrangements for my children, how do I go about this?
A Child Arrangement Order can be drafted, which will determine ‘with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact’ and can be sought under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 but only where there is a significant disagreement between you and your spouse.

Do we have to agree a financial settlement before we can divorce?
No. However, it is usually advisable for agreement to be reached on financial issues and for an order to be made dealing with these issues before the final order (the order finally ending your marriage) is made. Such important entitlements as pension rights can be lost in certain circumstances once the final order is granted.

On final dissolution of the marriage, do I need to do anything else?
Not as far as the divorce itself is concerned. However, as part of the process, you should have considered revising your Will.

You should make a Will during the divorce process and possibly change the way in which you own any joint property with your spouse, so as to safeguard against the possibility of jointly owned property passing to your spouse during the course of the divorce process.

Your ex-spouse will not receive everything you owned under an old Will. The final order in divorce changes the way the former spouse is treated in law. These changes affect any gifts to the surviving spouse or the appointment of them as executors under the existing Will. This is because in law, an ex spouse, on divorce, is treated as having died before the deceased, so any gifts to their ex-spouse as a beneficiary fail and so does any appointment of them as executor.

Contact our specialist family law team for further advice on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.

 

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