What do I do if I’m thinking about divorce?

Child custody

Taking the decision to separate from your spouse is always difficult. Friends and family will offer invaluable advice but the tough decisions will still be down to you.

Can I get a divorce?

To be able divorce your spouse, you must have been married for at least 12 months and be able to prove that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. You can show this by citing one of five legal facts: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, 2 years separation with consent, 5 years separation without consent, or desertion.

How long does a divorce take?

This depends on your particular circumstances. Your finances, assets, debts and children may all affect how long it takes. However, a typical straightforward divorce can take between 4-6 months.

What steps should I take next?

Providing it is safe for you to remain in the marital home, it is advisable not to make any big decisions about your future until you have received specialist legal advice from a family lawyer.

You are going to have lots of questions such as:

1) If I leave the house will I lose any claim to it?

2) Can my spouse force me to move out of the house?

3) What if my spouse changes the locks to the house?

4) If I move out of the house do I still have to pay the mortgage?

5) How do we sort out the finances?

6) Do the children always live with their mother?

You will need answers to these questions before beginning divorce proceedings.

What things should I consider?

You will need to gather together some information but don’t let this stop you getting legal advice straight away.

1) Make a detailed list of your monthly incomings and outgoings. Be honest with yourself and don’t underestimate your living costs.

2) Work out what your income will be if you separate.

3) Once you have this figure check to see if you are eligible to apply for any benefits.

4) Gather together your financial documents that confirm your income, savings, pension provision, mortgage and any debts. If you don’t have them to hand, request them from the financial institutions.

5) If you own your home find out how much the house is worth by comparing it with nearby properties that have recently sold. Find out what you owe on any mortgage or other loan secured against your home.

Call us today on 0800 614 722 to arrange a free and confidential initial consultation.