If you are thinking of starting divorce proceedings or are at the receiving end of a divorce petition, your divorce solicitor will be able to advise and guide you regarding the process. We understand that this is going to be a part of your life which is not going to be difficult emotionally, but financially too. It can make it easier and simpler talking about your worries with an expert. We have often spoken with clients who worry unneccassarily just because they are not familiar with the law and process. So pick up the phone and speak to a family specialist today who can help to dispel some of your worries and give you clear guidance on what to do next. We will give you a free half hour consultation as we understand the importance of talking things through and meeting the person who you will entrust to deal with your personal and family affairs.
If you do not want a divorce, you can apply for a legal separation (Judicial Separation) , to enable you to live apart without ending the marriage. You might also be able to annul the marriage.
Our expert divorce lawyers will be there to support you throughout the process. It may appear to be daunting and complex however our experts lawyers have the expertise to resolve complex issues that may arise from a separation.
What about financial settlements
There are no set rules for the division of assets so our experts are Apex Family Law will guide you through the process. We will explain the law and how it will apply to your given circumstances and then help you to identify the most appropriate way of resolving the financial issues.
How long will the divorce take
This depends. If you both agree then the actual divorce process can be concluded relatively quickly. However there are other factors which can mean the divorce will take slightly longer. If the other party for example, does not want a divorce and avoids service of the papers then it would take longer as a process server(or court bailiff) may have to locate them in order to serve the divorce papers. If there is a foreign marriage certificate then this may also need translating, which again adds to the time it takes to conclude the divorce process. We will give you an estimate of how long it will take at the begining of your case but sometimes external factors outside of our control (such as court backlogs) may mean we need to revise our estimate as the case continues.
Your divorce solicitor is obliged to provide you with a cost estimate at the beginning of a case.
The actual court fee is £550. However if you are in receipt of income related benefits then you may receive a fees exemption or reduction. We will advise you about this.
Your solicitors costs for the divorce will be discussed at the initial meeting and will depend on how straightforward or complex it is likely to be. This could for example depend on whether the other party is going to avoid being served with the divorce papers, whether they are abroad and if you are unable to locate the original marriage certificate particularly a foreign marriage certificate.
Clearly there will be a lot of issues that need resolving on separation or divorce and the arrangements for children is likely to be one of the main ones. Our family specialists (Resolution accredited) can assist you with this. We are trained and abide by the Resolution code of practice, which means we will make sure that we deal with matters in a sensitive and non confrontational manner to allow you to put the needs and wishes of the children first.
You or your spouse can start the process provided you have been married for one year and one of the residence conditions, as set out below, can be fulfilled:
• You and your spouse, must both have your permanent homes (known as domicile) in England and Wales when the divorce petition is started; or
• You and your spouse must both be living in England and Wales when the divorce petition is started; or
• You and your spouse must both have had your last home in England and Wales and one of you must still be living in either of these countries when the petition is stated; or
• Your spouse must be living in England or Wales when the divorce petition is started; or • You must have been living in England and Wales for at least a year on the day the divorce petition is started; or
• You must have your permanent home in England or Wales and have been living in either of these countries for at least six months on the day the divorce petition is started.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
You are your spouse must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by establishing one of the following five facts as proof:
• Adultery of the other spouse;
• Unreasonable behaviour of the other spouse;
• Desertion by the other spouse for two years;
• Separation with consent after two years;
• Separation for five years.
Once you (petitioner) have completed and filed the divorce petition at court, the respondent (the other party) should return an acknowledgment form. If they fail to return this you will need to request either the court bailiff or a private process server to serve the documents so that you have proof of service. If the acknowledgment form has been returned or you have proof of service, you can apply to the court for the first part of the divorce called the decree nisi.
When you have filed your application for the decree nisi, the Judge will review the paperwork to ensure everything is in order. The Judge will then grant a certificate of entitlement with a date on which the decree nisi will be pronounced.
6 Weeks and 1 day after the pronouncement of the decree nisi, you can apply for the final decree absolute which finally dissolves the marriage. If the Petitioner does not apply for this then the respondent can apply for this 3 months after the date the petitioner could have applied for it.
We specialise in divorce for expatriates worldwide and have efficient systems for advising our clients overseas via telephone, video conferencing, skype or in person. Request a call back today from a solicitor, to discuss your options.