Divorce Preparation Checklist

Divorce Preparation Checklist
Divorce Preparation Checklist

There has been considerable discussion this week about “divorce week” at the start of January, which is considered the busiest time of the year for divorce solicitors. Personally, I don’t view this as cause for celebration. It’s akin to cheering when your team loses in football.

This week unfortunately garners attention annually, although there remains some debate over exactly which week is the busiest. Instead of merely acknowledging this spotlight, could we use it constructively to shed light on lesser-known aspects of divorce that could assist couples in crisis?

Here are my top five legal insights that many people might not know about divorce and family breakdown:

  1. Marriage Duration Requirement: You cannot file for divorce unless you have been married for at least 12 months. This legal stipulation means that a couple must wait a year from their wedding date before initiating divorce proceedings. This timing requirement may not make for the most romantic first anniversary gift. Additionally, the divorce process itself typically takes a minimum of three to six months to complete.
  2. Nature of Divorce: Divorce is the dissolution of a legally binding contract. When a couple marries, certain legal ties are formed, such as shared assets. Divorce terminates this legal bond but does not automatically address issues like child custody, asset division, or pet ownership. These matters are typically resolved alongside divorce through agreements recorded by solicitors.
  3. House Ownership Post-Divorce: Contrary to popular belief, selling the marital home isn’t always necessary. Experienced divorce solicitors assess a couple’s joint assets and advise on equitable division based on various factors, including earning potential, career interruptions due to childcare, and prenuptial agreements. Couples may opt for one party to buy out the other’s share or reach an agreement for one party to remain in the home with the children until a certain age.
  4. DIY Divorce: While it’s possible to pursue a “do-it-yourself” divorce, navigating the process without expert advice carries risks. Divorce proceedings involve complex paperwork, and errors can lead to delays and added costs. Family law specialists negotiate more favourable settlements, identify pitfalls to avoid, and assist with crucial aspects like clean break orders to prevent future claims on assets.
  5. Parental Rights: Contrary to common belief, there are no inherent “divorce rights” concerning children. The court prioritises the best interests of the children and ensures financial provision for both parties. “Rights” are not a consideration in this context.

This January, instead of solely acknowledging the increased workload for divorce solicitors, let’s focus on education and empowering individuals with a deeper understanding of the divorce process. By fostering informed decision-making, we can assist couples in navigating this challenging chapter in 2021.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
24th January 2020
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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