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Divorce - in a way that suits you

View profile for Melanie Loxley
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Divorce - in a way that suits you

Do I have to instruct a solicitor to get divorced?

No.

If your marriage has broken down irretrievably then you can start divorce proceedings through the Court’s online divorce portal. You currently need to rely on 1 of 5 facts to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. These are:

  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. Two years’ separation with consent
  5. Five years’ separation without consent. 

You will need to provide the court with a copy of your marriage certificate and a court fee of £550 is payable, unless you qualify for a fee exemption. To find out whether you are exempt, you can access form EX160 on the hmcts website.

You can initiate the divorce process yourself or you can seek help from a family solicitor, who can deal with the process for you.

Should I instruct a solicitor to deal with my divorce?

Yes.

It is a good idea to discuss your plans to divorce with a solicitor who specialises in family law, before you take that first step. They can advise you on the best way to approach the divorce and warn you of any issues you might face or potential pitfalls and how to avoid these.

If you don’t feel confident dealing with the divorce yourself or you don’t have the time to do so, your solicitor can deal with divorce for you. If you are happy to deal with the divorce, or finances dictate you have no other option, then there is nothing to stop you from dealing with the proceedings yourself. If you are somewhere in between, then you can deal with the divorce yourself, but seek guidance from your solicitor as you go along.

There is no “one size fits all.” At Birkett Long we understand that divorce is a hugely personal matter and we can be as involved with this as you want us to be; it is entirely your choice.

Do I have to instruct a solicitor to resolve the financial issues stemming from my divorce?

No.

You can discuss and agree to the financial issues directly with your husband or wife.

Should I instruct a solicitor to resolve the financial issues stemming from my divorce?

Yes.

Whilst discussing financial issues directly with your partner is generally speaking a good thing and to be encouraged, you need to be mindful that:-

  1. You might not be aware of all of the assets or income your partner has;
  2. You might not appreciate the different claims you have against one another or how these should be approached in the circumstances of your marriage;
  3. You could agree to something that is not in your best interests;
  4. A verbal agreement will not be legally binding, even once it has been implemented.

At Birkett Long we appreciate that your finances are personal to you and your family. We can guide you on how to check you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision and we can advise you on the types of financial claims you have against one another upon divorce. 

We can also advise you on how we think those claims should be dealt with in your unique circumstances and we can make sure the agreement you ultimately reach is not only fair, but also legally binding.

How involved we are is entirely your decision;-

  • we can lead you through the process and undertake much of it for you;
  • we can advise you from the side-lines, without any direct involvement at all; or
  • we can do anything in between. 

The important thing is to make sure you secure specialist advice, so that you are well equipped to deal with your divorce and the decisions that you will need to make.

At Birkett Long we have a large team of specialist family solicitors, who are members of Resolution and who are ready to assist you in a way that suits you. Why not get in touch for a free 15 minute telephone consultation to explain what help you need?

I can be contacted on 01206 217384 or mel.loxley@birkettlong.co.uk.

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