After the hustle and bustle of the festive season many people will have made New Years’ resolutions and will be thinking about getting fit and healthy or considering what changes they are going to make for the New Year. But for some this will mean making difficult decisions about their relationship.
When a marriage or partnership breaks down it can be one of the most traumatic and emotional times in a person’s life. It can be difficult to know where to begin and there may be many unanswered questions emotionally and practically. Many people considering a divorce are concerned how it will affect their children, finances and home and are unsure what options they have or how the divorce process works. Pavinder Khela, Family Law Solicitor at Hegarty Solicitors explains the options available.
After one year of marriage either spouse may start divorce proceedings. There is only one legal ground for divorce “the marriage has broken down irretrievably”. The facts they can rely upon are “Adultery” or allegations of “unreasonable behaviour” against a spouse. The alternative is waiting between 2 or 5 years before being able to issue for a divorce based upon separation for the same length of time.
People often ask how long a divorce will take but this is a very difficult question to answer as so much depends on the circumstances of the individuals involved; such as whether agreements can be reached regarding finances and children. The overall timescale for a divorce can be anything from 4 to 12 months or more.
We can discuss likely timescales and the options available at an initial meeting where you can talk to one of our highly qualified solicitors for initial advice about your case.
No Fault Divorce
At present, it is not possible to obtain a “no-fault divorce” within the UK, however, following a government consultation which ended in December 2018, proposals are underway to make the divorce process less confrontational.
There are however a number of ways to make the divorce process less costly and to help resolve issues amicably out of court by using Resolution accredited lawyers.
Finding a Resolution
Resolution is a family law association which promotes a non-confrontational approach to resolving family problems. Members sign up to codes of conduct which requires they conduct matters in a constructive and non-confrontational manner to reach a resolution.
Solicitors who have acquired specialist accreditation with Resolution will have shown they have experience, knowledge and demonstrative skills in family law.
Many of our family solicitors are Resolution accredited.
The Ministry of Justice launched an online divorce service last year which allows couples to file for a divorce online without the need for a solicitor. However, it does not have to be an ‘either/or’ scenario. Having taken legal advice at an early stage, you may well decide that you are able to proceed with the divorce yourself.
However, it is important to be aware that the online divorce service will only bring about an end to your Marriage/Civil Partnership, it will not deal with issues relating to your assets or finances, nor will it deal with the arrangements for any children. If you need to come to an agreement on issues such as who your children will live with and who will have ownership of the shared property or assets, a solicitor can inform you about your rights, and present all of the options that are available in relation to finances and children.