7 questions to ask your divorce solicitor at your first meeting

Going through a divorce is always difficult. At Tayntons we work to reassure you throughout the process and to make sure you know what to expect at every step of the way. We offer an initial fixed-fee consultation to discuss your situation and explain what you can expect to happen throughout. To prepare you for this first step, the following are questions you may want to ask us at our first meeting.

Do I have the right to a divorce?

The Government introduced the “no fault” divorce in April of 2022. The overarching meaning of the no-fault divorce is that you no longer need to prove the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage based on one of the five current facts for divorce.  The aim is that the new legislation will reduce conflict and allow couples to focus on important issues like children, property and finances. The sole ground will therefore be the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship.

This application for divorce can now be made jointly or by an individual.  We discussed you only making the application.

It will no longer be possible to contest an application for divorce, as the element of fault has been removed. Once the application for divorce has been submitted, 20 weeks must pass before the Conditional Order can be made by the Court (previously known as Decree Nisi). After this period, you must confirm that you still wish to proceed. This period of 20 weeks is to allow for you to reflect on your relationship to establish if you still want to separate.

Six weeks after the Conditional Order has been made, the Final Order will be made formally dissolving the marriage (previously known as Decree Absolute). The application for divorce can be withdrawn at any time should you decide not to proceed.

Who will our children live with?

Ideally, this will be decided between you and your ex-spouse, with the help of mediation if needed. If this has to be dealt with by the court, the judge will put the best interests of the children first. Shared care means that the children will have two homes, spending part of the week with each parent, and this is something that is favoured by the court.

How much will maintenance be?

If you and your spouse have children, you will both be expected to pay towards their support. Ideally, the courts like couples to reach a fair agreement between themselves in respect of child support. If no agreement dealt with through the CMS

Where one spouse earns more than the other, spousal maintenance may also be awarded if the spouse with the lower income cannot support themselves. The sum awarded may be paid as a single lump sum or could be a regular monthly payment for a fixed term or various determining factors such as re-marriage, cohabitation.

Who will pay the costs of my divorce?

As a general rule, each party pays their own legal fees in respect of their divorce, with the person making the legal application to the court paying the court fees.

Will I have to go to court?

If your spouse agrees to the divorce and you are also able to come to an agreement in respect of children and financial matters then there is no need for either of you to attend court.

In summary

While the courts will become involved if an agreement cannot be reached, the emphasis in divorce is on the parties reaching an agreement between themselves as to financial matters, where a child should live and how much time the child should spend with the other parent.  An experienced family lawyer will be able to advise you as to what to expect and what is reasonable and will negotiate robustly on your behalf with your spouse’s solicitor.

At Tayntons we have wide experience in all aspects of divorce and family law. If you would like to speak to one of our expert solicitors, email us at info@tayntons.co.uk, call us on 0800 158 4147 or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email info@tayntons.co.uk

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