Questions Our Divorce Solicitors Get Asked Most20th Oct 2016
How much does it cost to get divorced?
Less than you would expect. A simple fixed fee divorce is £750+VAT plus court fees.
A simple case where an agreement can be reached quickly could cost £750-£2,000 but this depends on many factors.
It is in both parties’ best interests to agree as much as possible. Arguments are expensive – especially if they have to go to court. Contested court proceedings can easily run into several thousands of pounds for each party.
Mediation is a good way to keep costs down because you avoid going to court. Find out more here about our family law mediation service.
How long does it take to get divorced?
Around six to nine months – the less you and your ex argue, the quicker it will be.
It is a myth that all divorces go to court. They do not. Using mediation keeps your divorce out of court so it will be quicker, cheaper and far less stressful. You are in control – not a court.
Does it matter who divorces whom? Should I agree to a divorce petition?
In general, being named in a divorce petition will not affect the financial outcome. Nor should it affect your credit rating – unless you or your ex fail to make payments due on joint debts.
How will getting divorced affect my finances?
Anyone getting divorced must accept that a drop in their financial circumstances is all but inevitable. It will affect your lifestyle. But the family courts are fair and reasonable.
Judges must take into account what is a just settlement and what is appropriate for both parties, based on their financial needs and what each brought into the marriage.
Resolving finances can be complex – especially (but not always) if high worth assets are involved.
Experience is vital so get expert help negotiating your financial settlement.
Will I lose my house in a divorce?
This depends on many factors including how much equity is in the house, how much is owed to the mortgage lender – and whether any children in the family are aged under 18.
If there are, the main carer of any dependent children could retain the house until the youngest child reaches the age of 18.
At that point the property can be sold and the proceeds divided between the two parties, based on what was agreed at the time of the divorce.
This form of arrangement is common but may not be appropriate in some cases. There may be better alternatives.
Never forget: the legal system will always put the needs of the children first – ahead of the parents’ needs.
How can I stop my ex getting their hands on my money?
Do not be tempted to hide assets. Family courts take a very dim view of this and will act accordingly.
If you foolishly try to conceal assets, you will almost certainly be found out.
Remember that your ex has a vested interest in making sure you do not hide anything (and vice versa).
What if I’m not married? What if I’m cohabiting?
So-called ‘common-law husband and wife rights’ are a myth. They do not exist.
Cases like this are decided based on a series of rules and legal precedents. The courts will always be fair to both parties.
But again, expert advice is needed because these cases can be complicated. Even if the assets to be divided are comparatively modest.
What about same-sex relationships? Civil partnerships?
Dissolution of civil partnerships and separation in LGBT relationships is a specialist legal area that is becoming more mainstream as the law is updated to avoid discrimination.
Coles Miller’s experienced family law team can help LGBT couples and civil partnerships in dispute to make a clean break, based on a fair agreement.
We also have specialised expertise in dealing with divorce and separation that involves children conceived using surrogacy or fertility treatments such as donor conception. This can involve international jurisdictions.
For further detailed information on getting divorced, click here and read the FAQs section. It includes information on divorce petitions, the timetable, contested divorces and remarrying.
Get expert and sympathetic legal advice from Associate Solicitor and Mediator Richard Perrins, Head of the Family Law Department at Coles Miller, 01202 355698.