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  • Divorce & Dissolution


    Divorce need not be confrontational. It can be dealt with amicably.A divorce generally takes about 6 – 9 months, depending on how quickly both parties deal with paperwork. However, we now deal with the majority of divorces using the online portal, which is much quicker than the paper based system.  Dealing with financial matters can sometimes extend this timescale.

    Fixed Fees

    We offer fixed fees if your divorce is uncontested (the vast majority of divorces proceed on an uncontested basis). The amount of the fixed fee depends on whether you or your spouse commences the proceedings.

    Divorce Procedure

    There are a number of myths about divorce:

    None of the above are true!Firstly, you have to be married for a year before you can divorce.Secondly, all divorces follow the same procedure, use the same paperwork and unless contested cost the same.There is one ‘ground’ for divorce – ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’.There are then five ‘facts’ to choose from:

    1.  Adultery
    2.  Unreasonable behaviour
    3.  Separation for 2 years and both parties consent to divorce
    4.  Separation for 5 years (no need for consent of other party)
    5.  Desertion (rarely used)

    The stages of divorce are: drawit-diagram-2

    Financial Matters

    It is commonly thought that once you are divorced and receive the final paperwork (the Decree Absolute) that is the end of it. Wrong!Unless and until you tie up all the loose ends and file a financial agreement at Court (Consent Order), how this is to be dealt with remains open and a claim can be made by either side until the party claiming remarries.A Consent Order contains terms including what happens to the family home, how the savings are shared, if one party receives maintenance from the other and if there is a pension share. It may be the case that there are no assets or money to be dealt with. If this is the case it would generally be advisable to agree a Clean Break to avoid the chance of any claim in the future should circumstances change.Agreeing financial matters can, and should where possible, be done amicably. There are a number of methods open to couples including mediation, Collaborative Law and arbitration. It is also possible to negotiate a settlement using Solicitors without the need to start formal Court proceedings.Of course, in some cases, finances are so complex or the parties simply cannot agree and Court proceedings are the only option.We will guide you through the process most suitable to you and your budget. We will agree a fixed fee where possible.

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    Julie McDonald Family Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority [number 607193].