Divorce is a stressful, life-changing event, Amelia Smith, family advisor at WBW Solicitors, provides the answers to some of the most common divorce questions she is asked, to help guide you through the process and ease the stress.
What is the one ground and 5 facts in relation to a divorce?
There is one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage must have irretrievably broken down. To prove this to a Court, you must rely on one of these 5 facts: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years’ separation with consent in writing or 5 years’ separation.
Do I have to have been married for a certain amount of time before we can divorce?
Yes. One year.
How much does a divorce cost?
We offer 3 different prices depending on the level of help you require: we can assist you for £420, we can support you for £720 or we can represent you and this will be charged at your solicitor’s hourly rate. Please bear in mind that these prices do not include the £550 Court fee which is payable to file your divorce application with the Court. If you would like to know what is included in each category, please telephone a member of the family department.
How long does a divorce take?
We advise that a divorce takes approximately 6-8 months if uncontested. However, if it is contested and/or finances are also involved, it will take longer, approximately 9-12 months. Currently, due to the effects of COVID-19, we are advising clients to expect some delay.
Do I need to attend Court for a divorce?
If you have agreed your divorce and financial arrangements, then no. Divorce is primarily a paperwork-based exercise. However, if you are unable to agree on the financial aspects of your relationship, then you will need to attend Court.
If my partner and I divorce, are assets split 50/50?
The starting point is to have an equal division of assets. However, the financial settlement will vary in each case depending on your personal circumstances. The Court considers many factors such as each of your needs, the contributions you have made and the duration of the marriage.
What happens if my partner does not disclose all their financial assets?
This commonly happens on a voluntary basis. However, if one party is unwilling to do so, it can be dealt with in Court. During a divorce, you can make a financial application to the Court. The Court will then order that each person completes what is known as a ‘Form E’.
Will my partner get half of my pension if we divorce?
Not necessarily. This is not automatic. A pension is treated like any other asset to the marriage, such as the family home and is therefore available for distribution between you. As above, specific factors are considered such as the age of both you and your partner, the value of your pension and whether your partner also has a pension.
How do I prevent my ex-partner from claiming anything from me in the future?
You can obtain what is known as a ‘clean break order’. It is used following a divorce and means that each person’s finances are completely severed from each other. Without a clean break order, your former partner could make a financial claim against you at any point in the future.
How much does a Clean Break Order cost?
We charge £500 + VAT to draft a Clean Break Order and there is a £50 Court fee to file it with the Court.
WBW Solicitors offer a FREE initial consultation to discuss your situation in more detail, the likely costs and timescales for your individual situation. To arrange a call back, please complete the enquiry form HERE or contact your local office.