Family Matters solicitors can help provide sound and specialised advice about your divorce process. Call us today to arrange your FREE half an hour interview. Below are answers to your frequently asked divorce law questions.
Do I need a solicitor to get divorced?
It is sensible to get specialist advice from a solicitor when you start to think about separating or divorcing, particularly if there are children or money matters to deal with. Family Matters offer an initial half hour free advice when we can give you an idea of where you stand and what your options are.
How do I get a divorce?
To get a divorce you have to show to the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably (that is, that one or both of you feel that you cannot stay married to each other).
You do this by proving one of five ‘facts’.
- Your husband or wife has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to remain living with him or her. If you carry on living with your husband or wife for more than 6 months after finding out about the adultery, you will generally not be able to use this as your ‘fact’.
- Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her. This covers all sorts of bad behaviour. You need to think about the main things that have made your husband or wife difficult or impossible to live with.
- Your husband or wife has deserted you for a period of more than two years. Desertion means leaving your husband or wife without his or her agreement, and without a good reason.
- You have lived separately for more than two years and your husband or wife consents to the divorce.
- You have lived separately for more than five years. In this case your spouse does not have to consent.
Do I have to go to court?
If you both agree to the divorce, the terms of a reasonable financial settlement and the arrangements for any children involved there should be no need for either of you to go to court.
How long does it take?
A divorce can take eight months or more; it depends on the property and financial issues that may be involved and how reasonable and forthcoming each of you are.
What about my children?
You do not lose parental responsibility if you get divorced. You will carry on being your children’s full legal parent, whether or not the children live with you and so all major decisions about them should continue to be discussed and agreed by both parents irrespective of whether the children spend more time with you or them.
My friend told me I may not have parental responsibility for my children. How can this be?
This may be the case if you are an unmarried father but we can assist you with this once we have more details from you.
Does our home have to be sold?
I am worried as I do not have a pension but my partner does. What can I do?
Pension sharing is only available to married couples and only then if they divorce as this must be ordered by the Court.
If you are not married you will have no right to claim against your partner’s pension however long you may have been together and no matter how many children you may have together.
What do I need to do to be legally separated?
Some married couples never get as far as divorce, but decide to live separate lives. You are not obliged to have any form of legal document but it is very advisable that you record any agreement you reach with regard to children or finances in a ‘Deed of Separation’. Once you are living under separate roofs, you will be classed as separated for tax, State Benefit and child maintenance purposes.
Find out more about how we can help with your divorce