CAN ANYONE GET DIVORCED?
Well, you have to have been married for at least a year before you can start divorce proceedings. On 6 April 2022, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into force. This means that if you want to apply for a divorce, part of your divorce application is a statement that you give to say that the marriage over and you want to be divorced and that it is. There is no need to give a reason for the breakdown of the marriage. That is something that is private between you and your spouse. It does not need to go into the legal paperwork.
One of you can apply for the divorce – a ‘sole applicant’ divorce application – or you can choose to apply for a divorce together – a ‘joint applicant’ divorce application.
The digital divorce system is to be used with only very limited cases where a ‘paper’ base application will be used. The process overall will take at least 26 weeks. The divorce still comes in two parts – the conditional order and the final order. It is only when the final order is made that you are divorced.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET DIVORCED?
The court fee (set by the court) is £593.00 at present. We offer a fixed fee for the work involved on our part in drawing up papers and seeing the process through. Your case is managed by a solicitor from start to finish and we are at the end of the phone if there is a problem. We lead you through, explaining all the way.
SO, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT?
FINANCES! Getting divorced is only one part of the picture. A divorce will end the legal relationship but not the financial relationship. You would need a court order to do that – and by agreement if that is possible because that is the quickest and most cost effective way to do it. The divorce application should not be finalised before the finances are sorted out. The financial arrangements are often the trickiest and the most complex. You may be able to reach an agreement with the other person and if you do, we can help to turn that agreement into the form of a court order to go to the court for approval.
It may be that you need help an guidance across issues involving property, pensions, the effect of a tax or other financial assets so that you can get matters resolved. We have the experience to know when to call in expert financial advisers and the connections within the industries you might need.
We can help you to try and resolve matters and if court proceedings have been started (or you want to start them) we can guide and advise you through that process, whilst making sure your voice is heard. We also offer fixed fees for some parts of the work.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Hopefully, you will be able to agree on the arrangements for your children when you are no longer living together as a family. If you are struggling, we can help. We understand that agreeing arrangements can be difficult and we aim to sensitively guide you through, being firm for you where needed but in a constructive way.
There are lots of options for you to think about. We can help, whether you are a parent, stepparent or grandparent.