When you are getting divorced, it is often difficult to focus on the legal aspects of your separation. The emotional turmoil for both you and your children can mean that they are important considerations that you miss. Between 2018 and 2019, there was such a number of divorces that the Ministry of Justice statistics highlighted that divorce centres had a backlog of work that resulted in 8% more divorce petitions and therefore a higher number of completed divorces in 2019. With these figures showing the obvious rise in divorces, it is clear that those going through the process need to be aware of their legal situation.
What is the legal process of getting divorced?
Divorce UK involves fulfilling the grounds for divorce that are laid out in UK law. These grounds are:
- Unreasonable behaviour
This is when one member of the partnership can prove that the other has behaved in a way that is unacceptable to live with. In most cases, this can include instances of excessive drinking, violent behaviour or financial extravagance.
You must be able to prove that your spouse has had sexual intercourse with another person of the oppsite sex and that you find it intoloreable to continue to live with them as a spouse.
This grounds for divorce is rarely used because it involves proving that a spouse had the intention to divorce throughout an entire 2 year period that they had deserted their partner for.
- 2 years separation with consent
If you and your partner have agreed to live apart for five years after the presentation of your divorce petition, and if you both agree to a divorce, then this can also be considered reasonable grounds for a divorce.
- 5 years separation with no consent required
If you and your spouse have been living apart for five years after the presentation of your divorce petition, then it is considered grounds for divorce, and your former partner does not have to consent.
What about our children?
As well as the legal situation between you and your partner, there will be considerations for your children as well. The right family solicitors will be able to help you with:
- Residence orders
These are legally binding orders between you and your ex to help you finalise the agreements on where your child or children will be living.
- Contact Orders
These are legally binding orders which will set out how much contact you and your ex will both individually have with your children.
- Prohibited steps orders
These are legally binding orders which will set out how much contact you and your ex will have with your children.
- Specific issue orders
Specific issue orders will help you to resolve a specific dispute, such as which school your child or children should attend.
- Parental responsibility agreements
These agreements protect your legal rights to be involved in important decisions about your children’s health, education, and welfare.
- Agreements on change of name
Agreements you can set out with your ex when either of you want to change your child’s name.
- Agreements on international or national relocation
Agreements helping you settle disputes about moving children abroad or to another area of the country with another parent.
What about my will?
For obvious reasons, going through a separation will mean that there may be changes in who you would like to leave your assets to should you pass away. In order to get the best possible outcome, you will need a will writing service to help you with drafting your will. You will have to think about:
- The value of your estate – this includes how much money you have in bank accounts and pension funds, any property and/or land you own and any investments that you have made.
- Who you would like to benefit from your WIll – this is the part that will have likely changed after your divorce
- If you were to pass away, who will look after any children you have that are under the age of 18.
- Who you want to appoint as Executors of your Will – they will be appointed to sort out your estate and carry out your wishes.
For the sake of those that you would leave behind, it is important not to forget about changing your will after a divorce. With the right legal support, the process can be easier than you might think.