Personal Law

Divorce Solicitors: How They Can Help During a Stressful Time

Estimated read time: 4 mins

Carrie Tennick, January 02, 2020

Divorce can be one of the most stressful and emotional processes you can go through. A good solicitor can help keep the process focused on the facts and finances, allowing you to keep negotiations free of too much emotion.

They are there to help you get the best result for you.

What do divorce solicitors do?

Divorce solicitors help you through the process of ending your marriage. They are there to explain the process of the divorce. They’ll help you understand what your rights are, as well as what your partner’s rights are.

A good divorce solicitor will discuss your options and help you understand your position. They can help you decide on the best course of action for you in your specific situation. If you have to go to court to complete your divorce, your solicitor will represent you there, helping to ensure you are treated fairly and reasonably.

However, most divorces don’t end up in court. If you and your former partner can agree to work together, you can keep things as painless as possible. This means you’ll work on a collaborative divorce.

Reasons for divorce

Your solicitor can also help you decide which of the five facts for divorce you want to use, as well as the evidence you’ll need for it. When it comes to grounds for divorce, there are five accepted reasons in the UK:

  • Adultery

If you or your ex-partner has engaged in a sexual relationship outside of your marriage, you can file for divorce on the grounds of adultery. You can only do so if the extra-marital relationship was between two people of opposite sexes.

  • Unreasonable behaviour

Abuse, addiction, debt or financial recklessness and causing family disputes can all be considered unreasonable behaviour. This was the most common reason for divorce petitions in the UK in 2018.

  • Desertion

Desertion refers to one party in a marriage deserting the other for a continuous period of two years without the other’s agreement or consent.

  • Lived apart for two years and both parties agree

If you and your former partner agree to live separate lives for two years, you can petition for a divorce without placing blame. You can still live in the same home – albeit with separate sleeping and eating arrangements – during this two-year period.

  • Lived apart for five years but one party does not agree

If one partner does not consent to a divorce, the other will have to show that they have lived apart for five years.

The government is also set to introduce no-fault divorces. This will allow couples to divorce without blame being placed on one partner. This is intended to help keep conflict to a minimum and speed up the process of ending a marriage. The Law Society explains that “an individual should never have to remain in a marriage against their will”.

You can only get a divorce if you’ve been married for at least one year. If you want to end your marriage before this point, you can get a legal separation, but Citizens Advice suggests that it would be better to wait until you’re able to get divorced. However, if you do decide to separate, you can get a separation agreement, which will set out financial arrangements for your parting, as well as decisions relating to your children. A solicitor can help you put yours together.

Division of assets

When you start seriously considering the idea of a divorce, you should find a solicitor. They’ll be able to help you work out if it’s what you really want to do and how you can go about it. Although it is possible to get divorced without a solicitor – if you and your former partner agree on all the details – this is not usually the best option. Divorce solicitors are experts in their field and know just what you need to do to get the best outcome.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be complexities in the division of assets during a divorce. This can include the splitting of properties, money, investments and savings. These are not typically split equally between couples, so it’s important to get help from a solicitor when deciding how these assets will be divided between you. It’s therefore important to be completely honest and upfront about your assets during the process of getting divorced.

If you are thinking about ending your marriage and you need a divorce solicitor, get in touch with First4Lawyers. Our panel of expert lawyers will help you make the best decisions for you.

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