Here at Higgins Miller, we specialise in helping people during some of the most stressful periods of their life. We’re family law specialists, and that means dealing with matters such as wills and probate, children disputes and interactions with social services. It also means that we’re on hand to help clients when they come to us seeking a quick divorce.
Although the phrase ‘quick divorce’ may imply a process that’s extremely simple, we know from experience that this is often not the case. For one thing, the end of a relationship is usually a highly stressful period, particularly if there are children involved. It can often be marked by sometimes understandable degrees of anger, hurt or bitterness, and our job as experts is to try to diffuse the situation and proceed as calmly as possible. When a client comes to us seeking a quick divorce we do our best to offer support which is both practical and emotional.
The practical aspect of that support involves explaining exactly what a quick divorce will involve, how long the process will last, what it will cost and what the rights and responsibilities of each party are. It will also mean discussing matters such as the care of any children involved in the relationship and whether a financial settlement has been reached. In addition to our expertise regarding these practical matters, we offer empathy and emotional support based on years of experience of dealing with people in this difficult position. We know that any decisions taken during the course of a quick divorce could continue to impact on both parties for many years to come and so we try to make sure, as far as is possible, that all decisions are reached through a spirit of positive co-operation rather than acrimony and conflict. Indeed, for any quick divorce to proceed at the desired pace, this would have to be the case, since having to turn to the courts to settle issues invariably slows things down and costs more.
The first thing we do for any client seeking a quick divorce is explain clearly exactly what the process involves. We do this in plain, simple English, avoiding the kind of legal jargon and complex technical language that people often find so daunting. Initially, we’ll set out what kind of grounds for divorce can be used. These are as follows:
• Unreasonable behaviour
• A two-year separation (if both parties agree to the divorce taking place)
• A five-year separation (in cases where one partner doesn’t agree to the divorce)
Having gone over these grounds we will work with the client to decide which applies in their case. In the case of a quick divorce, the hope is that both parties will have agreed to the process taking place and that this means the grounds for divorce can be agreed as well.
Once the grounds have been decided we’ll work with clients seeking a quick divorce to ensure that the issues mentioned above – care of children and financial matters – have all been discussed and arranged. By reaching agreements of this kind in an informal manner, we seek to ensure that a quick divorce proceeds as quickly and smoothly as possible.
The rest of a quick divorce process consists of technical matters such as filling in a D8 petition form. At every stage, it is vital that our clients receive the expert advice of our solicitors because even the simplest clerical error could cause delays that render a quick divorce impossible. When decisions regarding sharing out financial assets such as property, savings and shares and putting in place a plan for the care of any children have been made, and, assuming that the other party doesn’t contest the divorce, a petition for divorce can be filed with the court. This will then be sent to the other party, who has to file an Acknowledgement of Service form with the Court. Provided this is done within seven days the original petitioner can then apply for a Decree Nisi.
A copy of the Decree Nisi will be sent to both parties and, providing there are no further complications, the petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute, the ruling which officially ends the marriage, after six weeks. At every stage of this process any complications around issues such as a pension or insurance policies could hold things up, and that’s why a quick divorce depends upon the advice of experts like those at Higgins Miller to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. If you’d like to learn more about seeking a quick divorce or have any questions about the divorce process in general, please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected] We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward-thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. A 20-minute appraisal can be provided free of charge, and if you want to find out more we’ll provide the first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to learn about our wider charging system then please take a look here.