Can I get a divorce?
Can my spouse defend the divorce?
Does my spouse need to agree to the divorce?
How long will the divorce take?
An uncontested divorce usually takes between 6 to 9 months at a minimum, however it is always advisable to avoid obtaining the final divorce order until financial matters have been agreed and approved by the court which will likely lengthy the time to finalise the divorce.
Do I need to go to court to get a divorce?
Divorce is dealt with by the courts by considering the paperwork and applications. It is very rare that you will need to attend court as this is usually only if there are issues with agreeing who pays the costs of the divorce or if the divorce itself is defended by the respondent.
My spouse has started the divorce process - what do I need to do?
We married abroad, can we get a divorce in England?
I have a Nikkah/Islamic marriage - is this a legal marriage?
I pay child maintenance, do I have a right to see my child?
I am getting divorced. Do I need to get a financial settlement?
We are getting married / entering into a civil partnership - should we get a prenuptial agreement?
I don’t own the family home, can my spouse sell it without my consent?
It is extremely important to protect your interest in the family home. If you do not own the family home, then you ought to have a Home Rights Notice registered against the property. This will ensure that your spouse cannot mortgage, sell or give away part of their interest in the property pending a full financial agreement with you. This is an entirely usual step to take as it simply protects your position if you are not a registered owner of the family home.
I do not have any pension provision and my spouse does – what can I do?
Married couples have rights against each other’s pensions and there are a few ways of dealing with pensions.
One is for there to be a Pension Sharing Order whereby a lump sum of money comes out of one pension and goes straight into a pension held in the other spouse’s name. Going forwards each spouse would then have a separate pension pot.
Another option would be for each spouse to keep their own pension, but for there to be offsetting to equalise the figures with other marital assets, such as savings and investments.
Should I deal with the finances first and get a divorce at a later stage?
If you decide the marriage is over it is advisable to start the divorce proceedings as soon as possible because the Court is not able to make any financial agreement into a binding and final Order until the Decree Nisi, the first stage of the divorce has been pronounced.
I have no assets and have been married for a really long period of time – what should I do?
If you have a long marriage, the starting point generally is for everything to be reasonably equally divided between the spouses and see whether that looks right in all the circumstances.
The first thing to do is to pin down all the figures. Once the figures have been clarified and are clear, it is a matter of looking at everything and working out what solution will best meet everyone’s needs, as far as it is possible to do so.
Does my ex have to continue to pay half the mortgage?
Yes, your ex will have to pay half of the mortgage if they are listed on the mortgage as both of you will be equally liable to the mortgage lender. If any payments are missed, then the mortgage lender will contact both of you for the outstanding balance plus any costs.
If mortgage payments are continually missed and neither of you can afford the repayments pending a financial settlement, then it might be worthwhile agreeing with your ex partner to contact your lender to see whether they would consider a holiday mortgage – this would cease monthly mortgage payments for a period of time to allow you both to save money moving forwards.
Who gets to keep the family pet?
A pet is classed as property and it is generally arguable as to who gets to keep the family pet. Factors to consider are: who purchased the animal; whose name is it registered in; who primarily cared for the animal and who paid for the outgoings relating to the animal. Following this, it is a good idea to think about what would be in the animal’s best interests.
I want to protect my assets/I am not sure if I want a divorce – should I get a post-nuptial agreement?
If you wish to protect your assets or decide to reconcile with a partner, then you may wish to consider preparing a post-nuptial agreement. Post-nuptial agreements are currently not legally binding in England.
However, in the event that you decide you would like to obtain a divorce, if there is a properly drawn up post-nuptial agreement, then the Court is likely to follow what it outlines, as long as people’s needs are being met.
What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?
If you hold a property as Joint Tenants, you hold the property in equal shares and you have equal rights to the whole property. If one of the owners were to die, their share would automatically pass to the surviving owner/owners - this is the case even if a Will has been prepared to reflect that the property is to be inherited by somebody else.
Holding a property as Tenants in Common means that you could either own the property in equal shares or unequal shares. For example, one owner could own 75% and the other owner could own 25%. If one owner passes away, their share would not automatically pass to the surviving owner (unlike those who hold property as Joint Tenants) and instead, their share would pass in accordance with their Will (if they have one) or under the Rules of Intestacy.