Who can start divorce proceedings?
Any party to a marriage who has been married for over a year provided one or other of the couple is domiciled in England and Wales or has been residenb? in England and Wales during the preceding year. The marriage does not have to have taken place in England.
On what grounds can a Divorce Petition be started?
There is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However, a divorce will only be granted if one of five facts, which have been laid down by Law, proving irretrievable breakdown, is established.
These are: unreasonable behaviour, adultery, 2 years separation with consent from other party, 5 years sepa ration and desertion (although this is rarely used for practical reasons).
How much does the divorce cost?
If you intend to instruct a solicitor, Wosskow Brown would be happy to deal with your straight forward divorce for £350.00 plus VAT of £70.00 i.e. £420.00. The actual Court fee to be paid out is £410.00. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a fee exemption.
Do I have to attend mediation?
Not if you are simply issuing divorce proceedings. If, however, you are intending to issue proceedings in relation to children or finances as from April, 2014 the Applicant will have to show that they were prepared to attend a mediation assessment meeting.
Are financial issues dealt with before the Divorce Decree is finalised?
More often than not financial discussions will not have been completed by the time you receive your Decree Absolute, although it is not necessary for an agreement to have been reached by the time the divorce is final.
In some cases you will be advised not to apply for Decree Absolute if the finances have not been dealt with especially if your spouse has a substantial pension.
When should I be dealing with financial matters with my spouse?
This should be done immediately, as it will take time to deal with all the practicalities. However, a final Order can only be granted/sealed after the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi.
If the two of you have agreed a sensible financial division, you should still both have independent legal advice and give full and frank disclosure. Provided you have done this, you could apply to court for a Consent Order to be made. This could be dealt with on paper and without having to attend Court.
Child maintenance can be agreed between the parties, however, if there is a dispute, the parent with ca re would have to apply to the Child Maintenance Services.
If you and your spouse cannot agree financial matters, it may become necessary to make an application to Court for a financial order. This should only ever be a last resort, but we can assist you throughout the process.
Why choose Wosskow Brown to deal with your divorce?
Karen Brookes is a member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Law Panel and a member of Resolution. She has specialised in Family Law for over 25 years.
For any other legal questions that you have please take advantage of our free initial appointment with Karen Brookes at Wosskow Brown Solicitors. Karen can be contacted on 01226 212345.