When a marriage has broken down there are two elements to be considered. The first is the status of the marriage; can and should this be formally dissolved through divorce proceedings immediately or should there be a period of separation before proceedings are issued. The second element is the resolution of the financial arrangements; this process is commonly referred to as ancillary relief.
Divorce proceedings cannot be issued until a year after the date of marriage. For proceedings to be started a petition must be filed with the court. The spouse who starts the proceedings is called the Petitioner and the other spouse is called the Respondent. The petition must set out one of the following facts:-
A petition filed on adultery or behaviour is commonly known as a fault-based divorce. Even with this title it is important not to allow the contents of the petition to be inflammatory. We will discuss with you which petition is relevant in your case and having regard to the specific circumstances of your matter we will use our professionalism to present a tactful petition with sufficient detail to obtain a divorce. We will do our best to avoid increasing animosity where bad feeling already exists between the parties.
The principles for considering financial arrangements for married couples are set down in s.25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and are often referred to as the Section 25 factors. Having regard to the specifics of your case we can advise you as to how these factors apply to you, how the court is likely to view your situation and the possible orders which can be obtained.
When resolving the financial arrangements there are four main options:-
Whether the financial arrangements are resolved by agreement or through Court proceedings it is important to have the arrangements formally recorded in a Deed of Separation if divorce proceedings have not been issued or by way of a Consent Order.
Our constructive approach means that the majority of our cases are able to be resolved without the need for contested court proceedings. In the small number of cases where court proceedings are required we will fully advise and assist you through the process including providing advocacy at all court hearings and the instruction of a barrister should this be required. We will always work for the good of our client to achieve a fair overall outcome.
‘Without Sue’s support I wouldn’t have got the result I got… very supportive
through a very distressing time’
Mrs M L, Croydon
Please contact us if you need assistance in relation to the breakdown of your relationship from protecting your current financial position, considering the future financial situation, property rights and to formalise your separation.
For further information please click on the link to the Resolution website to access their free resources.