Divorce or Not to Divorce? that is the Question...
Are you feeling a little bit lost, unsure what to do next, or worrying about how much a divorce would cost you?
Read our Divorce Blog which helps you to understand the process a little bit more.
There are usually three separate legal aspects of any marriage that are sorted out in any
1. The married status of the couple – if you are married but want to become single again, then even if you had no children or money/property you would have to go through a legal process to obtain a Court Order (a Decree Absolute) to make you single again.
A Decree Absolute formally dissolves a marriage finally and legally.
Until a Decree Absolute is made neither party to the marriage can re-marry. Decrees Absolute also affect what happens under any relevant will and on intestacy.
This part of the divorce process focuses entirely upon the married status of the parties and does not affect any legal rights which either party has with regard to children or money or property.
The divorce Petition process starts with the issue of a Divorce Petition and the paying of a Court fee of £550.00. Fee remission might apply to those on a low income.
Solicitors prepare the Divorce Petition and paperwork for the different stages of the process and you should expect those costs to be something in the region of £700 to £900 plus VAT plus the Court fee (est).
The Court has to be satisfied that there are good reasons for asking for the marriage to be dissolved and as part of that will need to see specific allegations of eg unreasonable conduct adultery, or a period of separation of two years etc.
Whilst having to make allegations about the other spouse can create tension between parties, it is not uncommon for divorcing couples to approve the allegations that will be made in order that these are seen as a means to an end rather than a wish to create litigation or upset.
The Petition process takes a minimum of three months but more typically takes longer because of issues about money and property
2. The money and property aspects of you marriage – When you marry, a range of legal property rights descend onto the heads of the marring couple as they go through the ceremony under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. This act of parliament regulates what happens to family money and property when parties later divorce.
When it comes to trying to decide what is fair division of family assets transparency is
The Family Proceedings Rules require both parties to give a full and frank disclosure of their
wealth in order that any agreement or Court Order is made with full knowledge.
Most divorces involve a process in which the value of family assets is identified documents which prove the values of eg Bank Accounts or houses are swapped and the parties become involved in Family Financial Mediation which leads to an agreement being made about who should receive what as a couple split.
The agreement is typically embodied in a Court Order made by agreement.
Costs here depend upon the size value of complexity of the family estate and the degree to which the parties argue about division. Minimum costs would be eg £650 plus VAT plus Court fees of £100.00 est but more usually would be higher than this.
3. Court Orders affecting children and who they should live with – this is often a very difficult process and will take considerable time to resolve the situation carefully.
Making a decision to make the next step is often hard but there is something to be said for being the person who controls the timing or speed of the process rather than the person who is on the receiving end of it.
If you are about to make a life changing decision, or want to be the one in the driving seat - give us a call. We are always happy to help and our friendly team are waiting to assist you.
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