Divorce Solicitors

We understand the emotional and mental strain a divorce can put on you. A good divorce lawyer can help to relieve a lot of that pressure.

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Divorce will likely mean changes to your living arrangements, as well as to your finances. And it can complicate things further if you have children to support and care for.

Do you want to begin divorce proceedings? Or are you currently going through the process and need advice?

Whatever your situation, First4Lawyers can provide you with expert guidance in family and divorce law. You can contact us now to help ensure your divorce proceedings and all related issues go as smoothly as possible.

What is divorce?

Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage between two people. This must take place before the death of either spouse. You can get a divorce if you have been married for a year or more. To obtain a divorce in England or Wales, your marriage must be recognised in UK law.

In 2021, 113,505 couples got divorced in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was a 9.6% increase from 2020, a rise the ONS says was partly caused by disruptions to the family courts during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What are the grounds for divorce?

Since the introduction of no-fault divorce legislation in April 2022, you no longer need to provide one of the five grounds for divorce. This has taken away some of the ‘blame game’ that previously surrounded divorce proceedings.

Before no-fault divorce, separating couples would need to prove at least one of the following five reasons for the ending of a marriage or civil partnership:

  • Adultery
    Your husband or wife has had intercourse with someone of the opposite sex and as a result, you no longer wish to be with them. This rule would not always apply to civil partnerships, which we explain further in our guide to the differences between marriage and civil partnerships.
  • Agreed separation
    You and your spouse have lived separately for two years and you both agree to dissolve the union.
  • Desertion
    Your partner has deserted you. To dissolve the marriage, you must have been living apart for two years or more. This can be difficult to prove, as the court may not view the absence of your partner as desertion, depending on their signalled intention.
  • Non-unanimous separation
    In cases where your spouse does not agree to the divorce, you must have lived apart for five years or more.
  • Unreasonable behaviour
    This could involve mental or physical cruelty or abuse. It could also involve a lack of care in money matters, drunkenness, or drug taking.

Under the new legislation, these grounds are no longer required and couples can divorce solely based on the fact that their marriage or civil partnership has 'irretrievably broken down'.

What do divorce proceedings involve?

There’s no denying that the thought of getting a divorce can be intimidating. And sometimes it helps to see what the process will involve. We’ve broken it down into five key stages:

  1. Making your divorce application
    If you and your ex-partner both agree to get a divorce, you can now make a joint application to the court. But if you do not, there is still the option to make a sole application. You can apply for divorce online or by post.
  2. Responding to the application for divorce
    If you and your former partner submitted a joint application, you’ll be required to provide an “acknowledgment of receipt” to the court. And if you made the application by yourself, your ex will need to complete an “acknowledgment of service” within 14 days. This should outline whether they agree to the divorce or plan to dispute it.
  3. Applying for your conditional order (previously known as the decree nisi)
    After 20 weeks have passed since your divorce application, you’ll be able to apply for your conditional order. This document will confirm that the court sees no issue with your divorce going ahead.
  4. Applying for your final order (previously known as the decree absolute)
    After your conditional order, you’ll need to wait a further 43 days (six weeks and one day) before applying for a final order. Your marriage or civil partnership will legally end when your final order is granted.
  5. Making child care and financial arrangements
    Following the legal termination of your marriage or civil partnership, you’ll usually have six months to resolve any child care or financial issues related to your divorce.

You don’t need to worry about going through each of these steps alone, though. Your divorce solicitor will be at your side throughout, making sure you’re fully informed and supported at all times.

Why choose First4Lawyers?

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What legal issues might I face during divorce proceedings?

Legal issues you may face during divorce proceedings include the following:

  • Division of property
  • Spousal maintenance

If you are the main breadwinner in your marriage, you may need to continue providing financial support to your spouse before reaching any final agreement. This may include continuing to pay bills even if you have left the home you once shared.

On the other hand, if you depend financially on your spouse, you should ask for suitable financial support. If your spouse refuses, you can apply for an interim financial order from the court. This will require them to meet your financial needs until you reach a final agreement.

It is important that both parties fully disclose their respective financial positions during divorce proceedings. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets to avoid splitting them with you as part of your divorce, it is highly advisable that you contact an experienced divorce lawyer.

In the UK, getting a divorce will only end your marriage. It will not deal with any child arrangements or financial settlements following your separation. A skilled divorce solicitor will help you to navigate each of these areas so that you’re not left vulnerable to disputes further down the road.

A lawyer will also help you work out how long it will take to get divorced and whether yours is going to be more complex than others.

I'm having legal issues related to my divorce – what should I do?

While it is possible to resolve divorce-related issues without the aid of a family solicitor, it is highly advisable that you find an expert to help you reach a fair settlement. At First4Lawyers, we are here to help you.

We are able to assign specialist divorce lawyers to your case who will have a great deal of skill and experience in this area of law.

So, whether you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, or you just want a mediator to help reach the fairest settlement, get in contact with us to find out how we can help make the process that bit easier.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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