We know it is a sad and stressful time, for anyone who is involved, when a couple decide to divorce. That’s why our experienced team here at Wiseman deal with each situation with sympathetic professionalism.
Divorces can be complex, but at their heart is a simple process – and that’s what we will focus on here. Our experience has helped us to identify ten key points it is useful to know. Here is an important truth to start with:
1. However difficult it might be, the more that the two people involved can agree about, the less time the whole process of gaining a divorce is likely to take.
That said; let’s clarify the actual stages of the divorce process:
2. Firstly, a court will require to know why you wish to divorce. These are known as the “facts” and, in an expression you’ll probably often have heard, “the grounds for divorce”
3. Secondly, one of the parties involved will need to complete a divorce petition and send this to a court
4. If the other party agrees to the petition, then the next stage is to apply for a degree nisi. This is a document in which the court states that it sees no reason why the divorce cannot be granted
5. The final stage is the degree absolute – which provides the legal end to a marriage A couple of points to appreciate about the degree absolute
6. The person who is the original petitioner for the divorce can apply for this six weeks from the time the court has issued the decree nisi
7. If this has not happened, the other party can apply for it after a further three months. One major consideration for the court is if there are any children of the marriage…
8. Should a court feel that the plans put in place for the care of any children are not satisfactory, it may well refuse to sanction the divorce. If this happens, a new plan must be worked out and the process started once more
One frequent area of disagreement during preparation for a divorce is in the division of property, possessions and finance…
9. Should there be a disagreement about how these areas will be handled, this will not necessarily be a bar to the divorce being granted
10. If such disagreements are not resolved, then the court may be asked to reach a decision. This will be termed either a financial or ancillary relief order. This is undertaken as a completely separate process to the divorce itself, which is why it can be completed after the finalisation of the actual divorce
The Canadian author Margaret Atwood once said that – “A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.” It’s a stark thought, but our team here at Wiseman do appreciate how traumatic the process can be – both the mental hardship and the actual areas to consider and work through. We always aim to provide thoughtful, calm and professional advice to help steer you through what are difficult days. If you find yourself in this position, please contact us now.