What Happens When I Get Divorced? by Sara Barnes | The Law House


What Happens When I Get a Divorce? by Sara Barnes

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on March 11th, 2014

If you have recently separated from your husband or wife and are contemplating getting a divorce, you will undoubtedly have lots of questions.  as a divorce lawyer I have noticed over the years, the same questions arise from clients.  Here are the most frequent ones and my answers.

How long will my divorce take?

  • Whilst not guaranteed, most divorces complete within 4 to 6 months.  Sometimes due to other factors in your case, it may take longer than this.  In many cases, you may be advised to avoid finalising your divorce until financial matters are fully resolved.

Do I have to have a solicitor if I am getting divorced?

  • No.  You are not required to have legal representation in your divorce.  However, it is often vital to obtain good legal advice and assistance about your case, particularly if there are unresolved financial matters.  Solicitors are trained professionals and will make sure that your interests are  best protected in your divorce.

Will I have to go to court?

  • Possibly.  However, it is not usually necessary to go to court.  If your divorce is not contested and you manage to reach agreement with your husband or wife about financial and children matters, a court hearing is highly unlikely.  It is often only necessary to go to court when matters are not agreed.

What happens if we get back together or I decide I don’t want a divorce anymor?

  • There are a few different stages in divorce proceedings.  Your divorce will only become final when decree absolute is pronounced -up until that point the proceedings can be withdrawn or discontinued.  Even though you    may be separated from your spouse, you will still legally remain married until that final stage.

We only got married a few months ago, can we start divorce proceedings?

  •     In England and Wales, you must be married for at least one year before starting divorce proceedings.  This does not prevent you from separating within the first year of marriage.

 I have had an affair.  Can I start divorce proceedings?

  •     It is not possible to commence divorce proceedings on the basis of your own adultery.  Your divorce solicitor will however advise you if you have any other grounds to start divorce proceedings.

My husband/wife has had an affair but this is after we separated.  Does this count as adultery?

  •     Yes.  An affair whilst married constitutes adultery.  Even though you have separated you remain legally married.

 When we separate how often should the children see the other parent?

  • There is no straightforward answer or set formula as to how much contact a non resident parent should have.  This is something you and your formerspouse should try to agree, taking into account the children’s best interests and the circumstances.  It is usually vitally important that a child maintains a good relationship with both of you.  If you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse, you could go to mediation to try to resolve your dispute, or as a last resort make an application to the court.

If you are in the process of separation or have separated and would like expert, practical advice, please contact me, Sara Barnes on 01245 809 556 or sbarnes@thelawhouse.com