Once you and your spouse have decided to separate, starting the process to issue divorce proceedings can feel like a difficult and daunting step to take in an already emotional and stressful time. It is really important that you take legal advice early and we would recommend you make an appointment to speak to an experienced family Solicitor sooner rather than later. Even if you are only at the stage of considering separation, we would recommend that you seek legal advice.
The Solicitor will be able to explain the legal process to you, address any concerns you may have and advise you on the appropriate next steps to take.
To try and make the process as easy as possible, and to help you get the most out of your first appointment, here are some of our tips and advice:
Prepare a list of questions
It may be beneficial for you to spend some time to write down any questions or concerns that you have to make sure you go over them in your appointment. Remember to take this note with you. Some questions you may wish to ask are:
- Do I have a valid ground for divorce?
- What is the process for getting a divorce?
- How long is the process likely to take?
- How much is the process likely to cost, what are the terms of billing and how often will I receive a bill?
- Will I be required to attend Court during my divorce proceedings?
- What happens if the other party doesn’t agree or reply to the divorce petition?
- Would mediation or collaborative divorce be appropriate for me?
- Will I have to pay more in my divorce settlement, or costs, if my behaviour or adultery caused the separation?
- How often will I receive updates on progress?
Reviewing your Finances
Along with the divorce itself, it is usually the case that couples have marital items (such as property) which will need to be settled. It is helpful to bring as much information as possible with you to your first appointment to allow your Solicitor to give you specific advice for your particular circumstances.
This information includes any financial information which includes details of both your and your spouse’s financial circumstances. If you don’t have that information, it can always be provided at a later stage.
If you have children, your Solicitor will ask if you have agreed arrangements for their care between you, so it is best to have conversations with your spouse about childcare arrangements before your first meeting, if you are able to do so. If you and your spouse have not been able to discuss this, or reach agreement, then your Solicitor will be able to advise on the various options to resolve this.
If you decide that you wish to go ahead with divorce proceedings, then you will need to provide the Solicitor with your original marriage certificate. If you do not have the original then you, or your Solicitor, will be able obtain a certified copy.
If you would like advice on family matters including divorce, finances and child arrangements, please contact our Family Solicitor, Danielle, on 01243 790 532 or email email@example.com
Note: This blog is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.