How to file for a divorce
Although nobody likes to think of their marriage coming to an end, the fact of the matter is that many relationships do eventually fail. In reality, the last official UK figures gathered by the Office for National Statistics for the year 2013, showed that the divorce rate was almost 3% lower than the year before, and the lowest it had been for almost 40 years. The reasons for this are open to interpretation, of course, although it has been suggested that the number of couples who now co-habit before marriage has led to stronger marriages or, conversely, to separation which doesn’t require the official stamp of a divorce.
Whatever the reasons, the lower rate still resulted in 130,473 couples getting divorced during the year in question, and for each of these couples the process, whilst following a set procedure, would have been different. Researching how to file for a divorce can only provide so much information, and in order to reduce the stress, time and cost involved, it’s vital to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
Here at Higgins Miller we specialise in family law, dealing with issues such as children disputes, adoption and special guardianship and the involvement of social services. We also specialise in divorce itself, which can overlap with any or all of the above specialisms. Our experience and knowledge is such that we’ll be able to handle any problem which arises during the divorce process, and that begins with the very first time you come to see us.
The average person has very little idea how to apply for a divorce, or perhaps even when to divorce. Talking to us as soon as possible will initially help to clarify matters in your own mind, and establish whether divorce is the correct option. Our prime motivation is to do whatever is best for our clients and their families, and on many occasions this might involve advising against divorce itself, and perhaps even recommending an independent mediator.
Many people might put off looking into the prospect of filing for divorce due to the intimidating prospect of virtually any legal process and also worries about the cost. On both of these issues we will set our clients minds at ease. A legal aid appraisal lasting twenty minutes will be carried out free of charge either over the phone or face to face, whilst an initial Fixed Fee first appointment will cost just £50 (Plus VAT). At these meetings we will set out exactly how to apply for a divorce in clear and accessible detail, listing the usual grounds for divorce – such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion – and setting out precisely how these grounds are met. Many people may not realise, for example, that they cannot use adultery as a grounds for divorce if they lived with the spouse concerned for 6 months after finding out about it.
Once we’ve established that a client does have grounds for divorce, and that this would be the best course of action, we’ll briefly describe the process. This will involve detailing how to file a petition for divorce, what will happen if the petition is contested by your spouse, and how and when the decree nisi and decree absolute will be issued. We’ll also explain any fees involved, and whether you’ll be eligible for financial help with those fees.
This first meeting will be about explaining how to file for a divorce and detailing how issues such as the care of children and financial matters are generally resolved. We’ll also try to ascertain whether a court appearance is likely to be needed, and explain exactly what this will involve.
If you’d like to know more about when to divorce or how to file for divorce then call us now on 0161 429 7251 or via email at [email protected]. We’ll listen to your circumstances and use our experience to recommend the best course of action. Should it be relevant, you’ll find details of our case funding structure here.