Divorce can be an undeniably rocky road. With a shared history, finances, property and maybe children to consider, there are many legal elements accompanied by the emotion of ending your marriage.
While we can’t promise it will be easy, we can offer some advice to help smooth the path, keeping the process as pain-free and simple as possible.
Here are our top 10 tips to consider when getting a divorce:
1. Get advice early
Getting professional advice early on is the best way to prepare for the future and understand what to expect over the coming months.
While it can be tempting to speak to friends and family about their divorce experiences, try to remember that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and everyone’s situation is different. What happened in your friend’s divorce may be different to your own, but a professional can give you practical, sensible advice about what you need to do.
2. Don’t worry about asking ‘silly’ questions
There really are no silly questions when it comes to divorce. For most people divorce isn’t something they ever planned on happening and for many it will not be something they have gone through before. So ask whatever’s on your mind.
3. Don’t move out of the family home without advice
It is essential to get legal advice before moving out of your family home. While moving out doesn’t reduce or extinguish your interest in the property, tactically and practically it may not be the best move.
4. Don’t worry if you’re not the main breadwinner
Many people panic that they will be ‘cut off’ or unable to afford to live if they get divorced and they aren’t the main earner in the partnership. But this isn’t the case, and the legal process is designed to offer a fair financial settlement to both parties.
5. Be conscious of costs
It is important that you use your solicitor and spend your money in the best way. Solicitors are best placed to advise you about legal issues and it may be that a friend or family member will be better placed to provide a cup of tea and a listening ear to any complaints and grumbles about your spouse. As we’ve mentioned above, it isn’t always helpful to compare your situation to that of others, but it is certainly helpful to talk to friends and family about how you feel.
6. Don’t be afraid to get support
There is lots of different support available to divorcing spouses including counsellors, therapists, and financial advisers. Your solicitor can signpost you to appropriate people so you can build up a support network during this time.
7. Keep an open mind about potential outcomes for the future
You may not know at the beginning of your divorce what the outcome will be. Or you may have a very clear idea about what you want the outcome to be. Keep an open mind about possible options for the future as the proceedings progress, particularly if your spouse’s financial disclosure contains unexpected information.
8. Don’t be tempted to try to hide your assets
The divorce procedure includes financial disclosure and both parties have a legal obligation to provide full and frank information about their finances. The family court also has wide-ranging powers when it comes to financial outcomes and take a very dim view of anyone trying to hide assets in a divorce.
9. Don’t discuss the proceedings or negotiations with third parties or your children
It will be tempting to discuss your divorce with third parties including your children. However, divorce proceedings are generally private which means that neither party should discuss the details of proceedings with anyone other than their legal team – again this is different to getting some tea and sympathy from a friend.
Minor children should also be shielded from the proceedings as much as possible and it is always best if both parties can sit down together with their children at the start of the separation to present a united front and reassure the children who will be unsettled by their parents separating.
10. Understand what you’re committing to before you get married
It is important to understand the financial rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. It is often useful to obtain legal advice about this before marriage and consider whether a prenuptial agreement would be appropriate. Maybe one to think about if you get married again.
Of course divorce is a time of mixed emotions as you move into the next phase of your life. But these tips can help you ease through the transition of dissolving your marriage.
The Lester Aldridge family team deal with these and other issues on a regular basis and are frequently instructed by clients regarding divorce proceedings.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of separation, arrangements for your children or wish to protect your assets prior to getting married, contact the family team on 01202 786161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org