Top Tips for a Dignified Divorce
13 FEB 2018
When you separate the process of getting divorced can seem like an expensive, out of control, minefield but it doesn’t have to be. Be kind to yourself and your children and access support. Family and friends or professionals can all be helpful depending upon the level of support your situation requires.
Here are a few tips from our specialist family lawyers to help you:
1. Look at your financial situation as soon as possible
You will need to contact mortgage companies, pension companies, banks and building societies to find out the amount of capital you have and you need to look at how to manage any changes to your income and outgoings.
Don’t try and hide anything. It is much easier now to trace assets and when your ex finds out you have tried to do this it will be much less likely that you will be able to avoid court proceedings which are costly, stressful and time consuming.
2. Think about who needs to know that you are separated.
Whether or not you remain in the same house, if you receive benefits including tax credits you will need to let the benefits office know.
If you are living in separate houses you will need to notify the council tax office and utility companies, change your address on your driving licence and contact your banks and building societies. You need to make sure that the mortgage, rent and house insurance are paid.
Be aware that joint bank accounts can often be accessed by either of you without the other’s permission and so you may want to transfer or close these accounts.
3. Find out about the divorce process
Talk about and try to agree who will start the divorce, when and on what basis. The person who starts the divorce (Petitioner) will have the most costs whether or not they use a solicitor as they are likely to have to pay a Court fee of £550.00. The Petitioner can ask the other person to pay or contribute towards these costs. If you want an agreed no fault divorce you will have to wait until you have been separated for two years under the current law. If you have been living separately in the same house this may count towards the two year period.
Take advice about when to apply for the final divorce order, Decree Absolute. It may be better to delay this until an agreed Financial Order has been made which gives you both the peace of mind of knowing that the financial issues between you are resolved.
4. Focus on the future
Keep in mind that you cannot change the past but you can gain a better understanding by talking to each other and there is support available to help both of you. If you can focus on your future goals and the lives ahead of you it is much more likely that you will be able to keep your costs down, avoid having solutions imposed upon you and move on with your lives as soon as possible.
Our Niche Family Law team, solicitors Barbara Richardson and Nicola Codd, can guide you through the divorce process and provide you with professional support and understanding to help you achieve a constructive resolution of any issues that arise.