Ending a marriage can be an incredibly tough time - the last thing you want to do is get your head around the paperwork. You’ll need to sort out several things with your partner including: finances, property, childcare and possessions.
At London Family Solicitor we specialise in providing expert support when it comes to your divorce and finances. We take a considerate and professional approach - so we can offer support and guidance as and when you need it. Contact us on 020 3755 3151 or send us an email to book your appointment now.
What is a Divorce?
You can only apply for a divorce until you’ve been married for a minimum of one year. To carry out an official divorce it must be recognised by UK law and both you and your partner must meet certain criteria. If you both pass these checks and you both agree to the divorce it will be an “undefended divorce.” But if one of you doesn’t agree to the divorce, it’s called a “defended divorce.”
Who can apply for a Divorce?
As we mentioned previously, you will need to be married for a year and your relationship has broken down irretrievably before you can file for divorce. You will also need to provide good reasons for the breakdown, as well as have a marriage that is legally recognised in the UK and a permanent home in England or Wales. Ground for divorce can include:
- Adultery: You can only give this as a reason if you use it as a grounds for divorce within 6 months of knowing about it
- Unreasonable behaviour: Domestic violence, threatening language/behaviour, emotional abuse, refusal to pay rent/bills, alcohol and drug abuse.
- Desertion: You can use this if your partner left you for more than 2 years, left your without your agreement or ended the relationship.
- You have lived apart for more than 2 years: Your partner must agree in writing
- You have lived apart for more than 5 years: You will not need your partner’s permission, even if they disagree with the divorce
At London Family Solicitor we provide an incredible range of services for civil partnerships. We offer advice and assistance on:
- Preparing for your court appearance
- Family mediation
- Financial matters including property and assets
- Child arrangement orders
- Parental responsibility orders
What will we need to help you with your divorce?
Before you get started with London Family Solicitor you will need to let us know:
- Grounds for divorce
- Who is applying for the divorce
- A list of you and your partner’s major assets - including pensions, savings, property
- You and your partner’s income
- Details on dependent children under the age of 18 and still in full time education.
How does the divorce process work?
Most divorces are an emotionally draining time. But we’re here to give you all the advice you need. To file for a divorce you’ll need to:
- File a Divorce Petition (giving your name/address, partner’s name/address, names and birthdates of your children and your original marriage certificate.)
- Pay £410 towards a court fee - you can apply for help if you’re on a low income or benefits.
- Send 2 copies of the Divorce Petition to your nearest divorce court, as well as 2 for you and your partner’s records.
- If your partner filed the divorce against you then you’ll need to sign a notice of proceedings form and an acknowledgment of service form - you can either sign to say you are agreeing or sign to say you are defending against the divorce.
- Wait six weeks before applying for the Decree Absolute.
Sorting out finances and childcare in a divorce
Agreeing on how to share finances, assets and childcare can be a daunting task. But at London Family Solicitor we can help you negotiate finances, division of assets and childcare arrangements with your partner.
Both parents are mutually responsible for supporting the children financially, even if the children only lives with one parent. There are three ways to arrange financial support for children after a divorce:
- You can arrange a voluntary agreement/family-based arrangement together. For example, you can split household bills, rent, childcare costs, children’s clothing/holidays and agree to make weekly/monthly payments.
- Child Maintenance Service (CMS). If you are divorced and the children live with you, you can apply for CMS financial support. Your partner will contribute a set amount towards childcare costs through the government service on a weekly basis.
- Through the courts. You can opt to pay/receive financial support through a lump sum or regular instalments.
Property and Assets
Of course, there are other aspects of a divorce to consider - such as who owns what when it comes to property and assets. There are a few key things to consider when sorting out finances in a divorce:
- Wedding gifts are owned by the partner whose friend or relative gave them Joint ownership of assets and possessions are negotiated by both partners. If you can’t come to an agreement then the court will decide for you.
- Both of you are still entitled to live in your matrimonial home - you can not make your partner leave. However, you can apply for short term rights to your home if your partner refuses to let you in.
We know a divorce can be an unsettling process. That’s why we have come up with a few general hints and tips to help you and your family out:
- Always seek professional advice if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with any aspect of the divorce.
- Keep in mind the consequences of the divorce on your children and financial affairs. If you’re unsure whether or not divorce is right for you, then seeking family therapeutic support or booking a family mediation session could help you.
- To avoid future disputes, formalise your financial matters and childcare as soon as possible – do not set out to hurt your partner by using children or money.
- If you are not a British citizen then a divorce could affect your right to stay in the UK
If you do go through with a divorce you will need to inform:
- Mortgage lender/landlord
- Council tax office
- Bill providers (gas, electric, etc)
- Tax office (especially if you’re claiming tax credits)
- Benefits office (if applicable)
- Credit card companies
- Current/future schools (if you have children)
- Insurance companies
Are you considering a divorce? Contact us on 020 3755 3151 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where we are here every step of the way to help you through the process.