Making the decision to divorce is not taken lightly, and can change your life and that of your children forever. Inghams’ specialist divorce lawyers have decades of experience helping clients make the right choices through this difficult time, to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties.
Divorces are often played out in the media as protracted courtroom battles, with parties seeking to extract as much blood as possible from the other. Whilst this does sometimes happen, the best outcome is usually reached when both parties come together, accept that the divorce is happening and seek to resolve any issues sensibly. We will lead you through the process in a calm manner, providing you with the fullest information and best advice possible.
Reasons for a Divorce
In order for the court to grant a divorce in the UK, it must be proven that the marriage has broken down to a point at which reconciliation is impossible. There are 5 possible reasons that can be given for a marriage breakdown:-
- Unreasonable behaviour
This behaviour could include physical or mental cruelty, verbal or physical abuse or being financially irresponsible.
This arises when your spouse walks out in order to end the relationship. In order to claim desertion, they have to have been absent for more than 2 years in the last 2.5 years.
- You have lived apart for more than 2 years
If both parties agree to end the marriage, a divorce is likely to be granted.
- You have lived apart for more than 5 years
This is usually enough to end a marriage even if one party objects.
Unfortunately there isn’t an option for “none of the above” – in the UK, one party has to apply for the divorce and one party has to be declared at fault in order for a divorce to be granted. Whilst the introduction of a “no fault” divorce is something that many senior legal figures are pushing for, it remains that a couple that has grown apart and wishes to split amicably must still declare someone at fault using one of the accepted legal bases. It is common to see unreasonable behaviour cited as the legal basis, even if there hasn’t really been any.
Finances and Children
We recognise the impact that a divorce can have on your life. This includes your financial and property arrangements, as well as arrangements for any children you have. There may be assets to divide up and joint mortgages to sort out. It seems quite obvious that property, vehicles, capital and valuables may be divided up, but what about the family dog? There will be decisions to make with regard to the family home; one party may want to stay there so there may be an arrangement to be made in that regard. We can assist with all of these negotiations in order to obtain the best settlement for you.
With regard to your children, it is important to minimise the effect of the divorce on them and prioritise their interests. Usually, children will live with one parent and access (or contact) will be given to the other parent, but ultimately this depends on the circumstances.
What if the parents can’t agree on things?
Sometimes one or both parties in a divorce are unreasonable and make ridiculous demands of the other. If matters cannot be agreed out of court, then you go to court and have the terms of your divorce and arrangements for children settled by a judge. Our divorce lawyers usually have a good idea what decision a judge will make, so we will use this knowledge to steer you in the right direction in the hope of avoiding costly court proceedings.