I am considering getting a divorce but have lots of questions about the process, what are the main things I need to consider?

Article

14 January, 2010

How long does the divorce process take?

It depends on which Court you issue out of, but generally, a normal divorce takes between 5 - 6 months.

What are the likely costs?

The Court fees are currently £300 issue fee and £40 absolute fee. The Solicitors fees will vary from firm to firm but are generally around £400 - £600 plus vat. This is purely for the divorce however and will not cover any extra work involving finances or children issues. You may be eligible for legal aid and you will need to discuss this with your Solicitor.

What are the grounds for divorce?

Since 1968 there has only been one ground, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. However to prove this, you can rely on one of five grounds. These are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for two years when the other party agrees, or separation for five years when they don't.

Do I have to agree all the financial matters before I start divorce proceedings?

No you do not - but it is a good idea to try and resolve all issues as soon and as amicably as possible. If you ignore the financial issues and divorce, then re marry, you may lose the right to have the matrimonial finances reviewed by the Court. Many people don't realise that your ex could make a claim against your estate after you die if this hasn't been resolved. There are special rules and a claim won't be successful in every case but it is wise to get an agreement on finances and obtain an Order (this is possible by consent).

Do I have to agree all arrangements for the children before divorcing?

As with the finances, it is a good idea to try to do so. To obtain your divorce you have to show that the arrangements for the children are satisfactory or the best given your circumstances. You can apply for orders relating to the children, but the Court is reluctant to get involved unless it has to. You would have to show why it is impossible to agree.

Does it make any difference if we were married abroad?

No, but if the marriage certificate is in another language, you will need to obtain a translation.

For a free consultation about a divorce law issue, please call the Divorce Solicitors at Forbes on freephone 0800 689 1058 or contact us by email today.

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