My Partner’s Asked For A Divorce
My Partner Wants A Divorce
When divorce is the only solution
By Vanessa Fox – Keebles
Options and practical issues to consider when divorce is the only route ahead
Taking the next steps forward when divorce seems the only solution can be a bewildering array of advice and ‘I never even thought of that’ moments.
Usually friends or family will step in to advise and, while their support can be invaluable during times of stress, seeking professional independent advice is always recommended.
At such a difficult time, everyone involved needs time to adjust, particularly if you have children. That’s why it’s important to consider all the routes available to achieve a quick and cordial agreement.
Under current law, couples will have to consider undergoing mediation sessions where spouses meet with a qualified mediator to try to reach an amicable settlement without going to court. The meetings are confidential and without prejudice should an agreement not be reached.
Although similar to mediation, collaborative law is where the spouses have their individual solicitors attend each meeting. Accountants, pension advisers and estate agents can also be involved. If the meetings fail, then the only option is court, however, new legal representation will have to be appointed.
When undergoing a separation or divorce, here are some issues to consider:
• Division of the family home – If the house is in joint names you will need to look at separating your interests which may involve one party buying out the other – or the property being put up for sale
• If you have been a stay-at-home parent and not worked, the courts will usually give you time to adjust to living separately and will not expect you to return to work immediately
• All documents relating to your financial affairs should be taken with you if you move out of the family home
• If you plan to move out, take with you possessions you would like to retain, with the agreement of your spouse. However, do not remove all the valuable items as this will be perceived in a negative light by the court.
• If you and your spouse make an agreement, ensure it is put in writing. Although it will not be legally binding, it will help a court determine what you both understood the agreement to be at the time.
• Seek financial advice about taking out a mortgage, if you plan to buy a property, and about your pension, if you have one
• Try not to involve your children in any disputes you may have with your spouse. They need to know that your separation is nothing to do with them and that you still love them.
Our family law experts at Keebles include qualified mediators.
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