Blackfords LLP

Divorce & financial arrangements

When any relationship breaks down it is a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. Whether you intend to move straight towards a divorce or whether you have a period of separation first, it is a good idea to get clear legal advice about your options and the process ahead.

The only ground for a divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. To start a divorce, you must be able to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by proving one of five facts:

  1. Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them
  2. Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them
  3. Your spouse has deserted you for two years or more
  4. You have been separated for two years and you both agree to the divorce
  5. You have been separated for five years

The divorce documents are issued in one of the regional divorce centres and not your local County Court and a normal uncontested (agreed) divorce is dealt with by post without you having to attend Court.

The divorce process itself does not automatically lead to the Court looking at the financial aspects from the marriage. To do this, one of the parties will need to raise it as an issue to be resolved. Parties are encouraged to reach agreements without resorting to a Court application, whether through direct discussions between themselves, in mediation or through solicitors.

When dealing with the financial aspects from the marriage, both parties are under a duty to give full and frank disclosure about their respective financial positions and once this has been examined, discussions came take place with a view to settlement.

There is no set formula for working out a financial settlement. Ultimately, the Court must decide, or approve an agreed order judging it against a range of factors set out in the law. The result should be both fair and reasonable, and meet the needs of both parties.

We like to make the divorce as straightforward as possible for you, and we offer a competitive fixed fee to handle the process from start to finish. If you would prefer to deal with the divorce yourself but need ad hoc advice as you go along or you require assistance with the financial aspects, our specialist team can assist you.

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