Going through a separation is never easy. For most people, it is a new experience and that can mean a lot of unknowns. Below are some common divorce law questions that often need answering.
What’s a “quickie divorce” and how can I get one?
The idea of a “quickie divorce” is something of a media fabrication. The average divorce in the UK takes 3 to 6 months and it’s rare this can be expedited, even with total agreement on both sides. Divorce happens in stages so “quickie” instant divorces don’t exist.
We want to use the same solicitor for our divorce, is that possible?
No. Because divorcing parties have very different interests this wouldn’t be a good idea from the point of view of a client. For the lawyers there is a serious conflict of interest and one that wouldn’t permit advice to be given to both parties at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you have already agreed all the details you still need independent legal advice from different solicitors.
What you can do is use a sole mediator to help you reach an amicable resolution. A mediator is impartial and unbiased. They don’t give any legal advice, but can give impartial and independent guidance to help you and your partner reach an amicable resolution.
When does the court get involved?
You can ask the Court to make orders about matters such as finances, or arrangements for children, if you can’t reach an agreement. Most of the time, if you and your partner are able to reach an agreement, you shouldn’t physically have to go to Court, and the paperwork can often be dealt with by post. If however, you are struggling to reach an agreement, or if there is a particular dispute or issue that needs to be decided, an application can be made to Court to request a Judge to step in and make an Order. This can of course increase the time it takes for your divorce to be finalised, and can also significantly increase your legal costs as well. Wherever possible, it is always best to see if you can reach an amicable resolution.
Do you have to have been married in England and Wales to get a divorce here?
No, not necessarily. You need a connection with this country to get divorced here – such as having a permanent home here – and your marriage must be legally recognised in the UK, but there is no requirement for a marriage to have taken place here too. If you have been married abroad and you want to be divorced in this country then you’ll need documents such as your marriage certificate – with an English translation for the UK courts.
How much private information has to be disclosed during a divorce?
Although it can feel uncomfortable, divorce does involve the sharing of a lot of private information. Your pay slips, information about your bank account and income are all included in what you’ll need to disclose when talking about finances.
What if we have been living apart from a while?
You’re still under an obligation to account for what you’ve been spending and earning during the time you’ve been apart, and to declare what assets or debts that you have. Until you have reached agreement on the finances and put this into a final binding Court order, then there isn’t anything that is off the agenda.
These are some common questions when it comes to getting divorced in England and Wales – however if you have others then feel free to get in touch.
At Rowlinsons Solicitors, we have a team of family law specialists available to help you survive your relationship breakdown. Linda Hunter is a qualified solicitor, collaborative lawyer and family mediator. She is able to help guide you through the process, consider what option is best for you, and provide the information you need to make an informed decision.
Contact Rowlinsons Solicitors today on 01928 735333 to book your FREE 30 minute, no obligation initial consultation.