“Me and my partner have decided to get Divorced and have made agreements how we will divide everything up, including time with our Children. What would you suggest I do next?”
First of all it’s important to remember decisions made at the beginning of the separation and divorce process can and will likely change over time. Agreements made face to face or via messages may not be honoured later down the line.
Some couples are able to separate amicably with no confrontation and wish to maintain on good terms. It’s important though to remember that you do need a reason to divorce.
To divorce your partner, one of you will apply for the divorce and are known as the Petitioner. The other will become the Respondent.
Without a period of separation, the divorce must be because the Respondent has either committed adultery or demonstrated unreasonable behaviour. Alternatively, the couple must rely on the fact that they have been separated for 2 years (providing both people agree to the divorce), or for five years (if they don’t both agree).
When you complete your divorce papers, if you do not fully and convincingly explain why you are filing for divorce it may be rejected, costing you time and often money.
Hiring a Solicitor will ensure this doesn’t happen. A Solicitor can also make sure that the agreements reached between you and your ex-partner are legally binding. This is particularly important when children and/or assets are involved. This will ensure you, your children and your possessions are protected, and avoids any disagreements later down the line such as your partner trying to make a financial claim against you in the future.
I would suggest discussing your situation with a divorce specialist, preferably one who specialises in matters involving children and money issues. Most law firms offer free initial consultations. With your solicitor, you can discuss your finances, and your children arrangements and receive advice on what is best for you. Once you have applied for divorce, your solicitor can help create a binding financial and children agreement with your ex-partner, ensuring you are protected in any end to the marriage in a hassle free and inexpensive way.
And, if the worst happens and any agreement between you and your ex-partner breaks down, you will have a solicitor to help you fight for what you’re entitled to and protect what is best for your children.
Answered by John Clegg, Partner & Divorce Solicitor