Was That The Last Christmas?
It is a sad fact that January is historically the busiest time for divorce lawyers up and down the country. Antonia Love, partner at Farleys Solicitors, provides helpful points if you have decided that there is no prospect of saving your marriage
Often married couples who have agreed to separate, particularly those with children, wish to get through one last Christmas as a family before taking that next step because managing Christmas as well as divorce proceedings can be twice as stressful.
When faced with these difficult issues and knowing emotions run high, it’s vital you take legal advice as soon as possible to give you the peace of mind and reassurance of knowing where you stand.
Though there are plans for the law to change, currently, there is only one ground for your divorce – irretrievable breakdown of marriage. You then have to decide which one of five facts you can rely on when issuing your Petition for Divorce to the Family Court.
You can expect the divorce proceedings, if amicable and straightforward, to take between four and six months to conclude from the time you issue your petition until the pronouncement of the final order, a Decree Absolute.
You have a duty upon separation to provide each other with full disclosure of your financial positions. That means you must provide documentary evidence to each other on your income, outgoings, assets, liabilities, capital and pensions. The starting point to any financial separation is often a 50/50 split of the assets but there is no set formula and each marriage will be considered on its own circumstances. Your finances should be resolved as part of the divorce proceedings and not left to be dealt with in years to come.
I would urge you to take at least preliminary legal advice before considering mediation. Mediation is designed to assist couples in reaching an agreement either in relation to their children or financial matters without the need for court action.
It is likely to be in your child’s best interests to have an ongoing relationship with both parents after separation. Parents have a duty to promote and encourage their children to see and spend time with the other parent upon separation as children need stability and security to thrive. Agreeing a routine of arrangements very early on is imperative, unless of course there is a genuine risk. Remember that separation is a very difficult time for your children and they will often seek reassurance that they will still be able to see both parents.
Farleys has a team of specialist lawyers who can offer advice on these issues at an initial case management meeting tailored to your individual circumstances.
Farleys has offices in Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley and Manchester
Contact its family law team on 01254 368040 or visit: www.farleys.com