Williscroft are specialists in family law and our Divorce Solicitors in Bradford and Keighley can help you try and get a Cheap Divorce and save the emotional and monetary costs where possible.
The mechanics of obtaining a divorce nowadays are usually quite straightforward – particularly if the couple agree that the marriage is over. The difficulties tend to lie rather in resolving the related practical issues stemming from divorce such as how to separate, where to live, arrangements for the children and any money matters. These areas can be discussed in confidence with one of our Divorce Solicitors in Bradford and Keighley.
Your attention will probably be concentrated on those related issues and the process of actually obtaining the divorce may seem blurred. The purpose of this leaflet is to outline a broad framework of the divorce process, to highlight key points and to set out the sort of timetable to expect for more information contact one of our Divorce Solicitors in Bradford and Keighley.
Who can start divorce proceedings?
Anyone who has been married for over a year provided one or other of the couple is either domiciled here or has been resident in England or Wales during the preceding year. It does not matter where the couple were married.
On what grounds can a divorce petition be started?
The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, but there is a complication. A divorce will only be granted if one of the 5 facts laid down by law, providing irretrievably breakdown is established.
What are the “facts”?
- Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to continue living together.
- Your spouse has behaved in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect you to continue living together.
- Your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of 2 years or more.
- You and your spouse have been living separately for 2 years or more and your spouse agrees to the divorce.
- You and your spouse have been living separately for 5 years or more, whether or not your spouse consents to the divorce.
If the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” and one of the 5 facts applies, what happens next?
This will depend upon your particular circumstances. It is often sensible to try to obtain your spouse’s consent to the petition and to try to reach agreement over the contents of the petition. For example, if your spouse accepts that the petition should be based on unreasonable behaviour, only a brief outline of the particular behaviour may need to be given. Not saying all that might be said will not generally prejudice you. Our Divorce Solicitors in Bradford and Keighley are on hand to discuss these points.
What does the Petition actually look like?
Every petition follows the same form. It contains basic information about names, addresses, ages of children and a statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. It will also state the “fact” on which it is intended to rely.
The petition will include a section (known as a “prayer”) which will include a request for the divorce to be granted. It may also include a request for an order relating to children: a claim regarding costs of the divorce; and an order for financial provision.
What about the children?
A form is sent to the court with the divorce petition which will outline the arrangements relating to the children. The law encourages couples to try and agree those arrangements. The form (known as a “Statement of Arrangements”) is usually completed by the person filing the petition. Preferably it should be sent to the other spouse before it is filed. If agreement is not reached, this does not prevent the divorce from proceeding.
How much does the divorce cost?
This depends on the finances of each party to the divorce. Those who are unemployed or on a low income are likely to be eligible for advice under the Legal Aid Scheme. This means the state will pay the majority, if not all, of the solicitor’s costs. Those who are ineligible for legal aid should ask his/her own solicitor for an estimate of the likely costs. Solicitors are obliged to provide an estimate of their costs at the beginning of the case. Our Divorce Solicitors in Bradford and Keighley will strive to help you get a Cheap Divorce.
Are financial issues dealt with before the divorce is finalised?
It is not necessary for financial discussions to be completed by the time the divorce is final. Frequently they will still be in the early stages if finances are complicated. However, it should at least be possible to resolve immediate problems and make temporary maintenance arrangements.
Are the proceedings public?
Court proceedings in family law are usually private. This means that the public and press are not allowed access to the court papers. However, the press are able to publish the fact that a divorce has been pronounced. The information that they may disclose is very limited. They may disclose the “facts” of the divorce but they are not able to publish details of the adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
Call Williscroft and Co to speak to one of our Bradford Divorce Solicitors on 01274 305380, our Keighley Divorce Solicitors on 01535 600973 or email us.