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I need a divorce. Where do I start?

I need a divorce. Where do I start?

If your marriage has broken down, it is difficult to know what to do next and where to start.  Navigating your emotions will be hard enough, but sooner or later you will need to sort out the practicalities of legally and financially separating yourself from your spouse.  There are no two ways about it; there is a lot to get your head around.

So, where do you start?  It is unlikely to be quick or painless, but it probably helps to start by looking at what your end goal is, then working back from there.

Decree absolute – insofar as your marriage is concerned, it is a court order called a ‘decree absolute’ which will end your marriage.  Until the decree absolute is granted, you remain married, and classed as spouses.  That has all kinds of implications in respect of, for example, pension rights and inheritance.  One of the first things you should think about is whether you need a new Will to reflect your change in circumstances, and perhaps whether your beneficiaries nominated on any life cover or similar need to be changed.

Financial Order – insofar as finances are concerned, a financial order, sealed by the court, should be your goal.  This will deal with the financial claims arising as a result of your marriage.  Without a financial order which has been approved by the court the financial claims between you and your spouse which arise as a result of your marriage will remain, even after the decree absolute has been granted.  The position can be impacted by remarriage – but to emphasise – the ideal is to dispose of the financial claims by way of a financial order made by the court.

Children – and last but by no means least, what about the children?  The court works on the basis of the ‘no order’ principle – i.e. the court would prefer not to make an order when it comes to the children.  You will still need to make arrangements for the children though and start to think about what life is going to look like for them when they are sharing their time between two homes.  What exactly is required here depends very much on how your family has operated historically, and how well you and your ex are going to be able to co-parent.

You may have other questions such as:

  • How much does a divorce cost?
  • How long does a divorce take?
  • How to file for a divorce?

There is a lot to think about, and it is overwhelming.  The key though is to make a start and build from there.  At Alsters Kelley solicitors we offer a free half hour appointment with any one of our Family department to get you on your way – call 01926 356017 to arrange a date and time.  We look forward to helping you on your journey.  


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