Divorce need not be confrontational. It can be dealt with amicably. A divorce generally takes about 6 – 9 months (6 months is the minimum), 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.
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.
You can make an application for divorce either solely (you are the only person applying for divorce, or ‘Applicant’) or jointly (both you and your spouse apply for the divorce). This must be done once you have been married for at least a year. There is a one ‘ground’ for divorce – ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’, which is proved by submitting a Statement to the Courts specifying this.
The stages of divorce are:
It is commonly thought that once you are divorced and receive the final paperwork (the Final Order) 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.