UK Divorce 101: Everything You Need To Know
Many couples seek to divorce but for whatever reason are not able to. The aim of this post is to help make your divorce a reality.
In the UK there are 5 legal reasons for divorce. They are as follows:
There are also 2 legal requirements:
- You must have been married for at least 1 year
- You must see England or Wales as your home or be domiciled in England or Wales if you live abroad.
Everything You Need to Know About Getting Divorce
- How to tell your spouse you want a divorce
- Wanting a divorce but earn a low income
- I have Nowhere to go if we get divorced
- My Husband Cheated
- My Spouse won’t leave our home
- I don’t know where my spouse lives
- My spouse won’t sign the divorce papers
- My spouse refuses to divorce
- What do I need to do first?
- What are my rights when going through a divorce?
Telling your spouse that you want a divorce is never going to be easy. Make sure that when you feel the time is right you choose an appropriate time and place.
Make sure that you’re prepared for anything and understand that their response can be very different from how you had envisioned.
Once you have discussed wanting a divorce you may want to look into mediation.
Mediation can help you communicate openly together in a respectable environment. It can help maintain a good source of communication between you and your spouse at an understandable upsetting and stressful time.
If you want a divorce but are limited financially then do not worry, there are options available to you.
In a divorce, there are two fees, one that you pay to a solicitor or divorce provider to process your divorce and secondly, court fees.
The fees you pay to your chosen solicitor or divorce provider vary depending on how you choose to process your divorce. However, these can be kept to a bare minimum.
Court fees are currently £550. However, if you earn a low income you may be eligible for court fee remission. This means you may be exempt or have to pay a reduced amount in court fees.
Therefore, if you earn a low income and process your divorce using a DIY divorce package you may be able to get divorced for as little as £59.
If you want to divorce your spouse but you both currently live together then it can seem extremely daunting.
Firstly, you are still able to get divorced even if you are still living together. Although, you will have to prove that you currently live separate lives. Check out our blog post on separated but living together for further information.
If living together is not an option, which for many isn’t, do you have any family or friend that could help you out?
This could be a temporary situation until you sell your property (if you own one together) or whilst you save for a deposit for a property of your own.
It’s important to know that you cannot be forced to leave a marital home, neither can you force your spouse to leave.
Owning a Property
If you both own your home then the best option would be to sell the property and share the money from the sale to purchase a home separately or use the money to rent a property.
On the other hand, if one of you earns enough and wants to stay in the home they may be able to buy the other spouse out of the property.
If you live in rented accommodation then your options will depend on the type of tenancy you have.
If you have a joint tenancy then you both have equal rights to the property and it will be down to you to decide the next step.
Either of you can give notice to the landlord to end the tenancy, If one of you wishes to stay in the property then you may be able to take out a new policy with your landlord.
If the tenancy is in just one of your names, they could ask you to leave the property. If this happens to you then you may need to seek legal advice if you believe you’re entitled to stay in the property.
If you live in the UK you may be able to apply for an occupation order.
This is a court order which states who has the right to stay in the property. This order is only a temporary order though, so be sure to seek another property as soon as possible.
Adultery is one of the most used reason for divorce in the UK. However, there are a few things you need to know about this ground.
You can only file for divorce using adultery if you do so within 6 months of the adultery taking place. If you do not file a divorce petition within this time it is deemed that you have allowed the adultery to happen.
You should also know that proving adultery could be a quick and easy process providing the spouse who committed it will admit it.
If they do not then it can become impossible to prove. If this is the case then many seek to use unreasonable behaviour as their reason for divorce instead.
Every divorcing couples situation is different so the advice can vary.
However, legally speaking there is nothing a court can do to force yourself or your spouse out of a marital home unless domestic violence is involved.
Mediation can be a very useful opportunity for you and your spouse if the situation becomes fraught.
Both of you will be able to speak openly about how you feel and come up with some practical ideas of how to move forward.
As previously mentioned you are still able to live in the same property whilst divorcing providing you live separate lives whilst within the property. If your spouse is refusing to leave then this may be an option for you.
If so, ensure boundaries are in place and make sure you both adhere to them to make your time living at the property that little bit easier.
Many couples split without obtaining a divorce, its only a few years down the line that they seek divorce for closure.
During this time many lose contact and when the time comes to divorce they have no idea where their spouse lives.
If this is the case then do not worry, there are many in your situation.
Before the courts will allow you to divorce you need to show them that you have done everything in your power to find your spouse.
You have 3 options: apply for a substituted service of the divorce petition, application for disclosure order hrmc, application to dispense with service of the divorce petition.
If you find yourself in this situation then know that you don’t have to pay thousands on a solicitor. We offer a missing spouse divorce service for just £349.
Would you like to find out more about our Missing Spouse Divorce Service? Please do not hesitate to contact us, one of our professional and friendly divorce advisors will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
The first thing you need to do is find your marriage certificate, you will need this to start your divorce.
You then need to decide which ground for divorce you will use, and then decide how you are going to file for divorce.
Choosing a ground for divorce can be obvious to most but in some situations, some struggle to understand each ground and find an appropriate one for their situation.
If this is the case for you then Please contact one of our divorce advisors today. They will be able to understand your situation and choose valid grounds for divorce, providing you agree of course.
If you have filed for divorce but your spouse will not sign then do not worry, there are options available to you.
You will need to get the papers served to your spouse by a professional. This means that even if they refuse to sign, the divorce can still go ahead.
The courts just need proof that your spouse has received the papers. This is why they need to be served by a professional like, a bailiff.
However, this will cost additional money and may prolong the divorce.
Wanting a divorce when your spouse is refusing can be extremely frustrating. Many couples in this situation benefit from mediation, where they can actively talk through their problems in the correct environment.
If you filed the divorce papers but your spouse contested it then it could be for one of two reasons.
They either do not wish to divorce at all, if this is the case they will have to send an answer to the divorce petition explain why they do not wish to divorce.
The courts will then assess the answer. If they deem the answer to be appropriate they will list a date for a hearing in court for you and your spouse to try and solve the dispute.
If their answer held no real substance then the courts could dismiss the response completely.
Or the other reason is that they want to divorce but do not agree with the reason for divorce. If this is the case the divorce will still go ahead but without any findings being made by the court.
Getting a divorce is rather straightforward. However, if you want to settle your finances then it can become a little more problematic.
Issues including, dividing property, children and dividing assets can arise. If this is the case it’s important to know your rights.
When you are married both spouses have an equal right to live in the marital home even if one spouse is not mentioned on the deed.
If your spouse is the only one named on the deed you still have a right to live at the property and they are not able to change the locks or kick you out.
If you have children together then they are the most important, they need to have a roof over their head and their needs met.
Child maintenance may need to be arranged depending on how you choose to care for your children.
Financial Consent Order:
A financial consent order is not compulsory but is seen as a vital component in divorce. It allows you to split your finances and assets in a far way ensuring that no future claims can be made against each other.
It’s a legally binding agreement meaning that both you and your spouse will have to keep to the arrangement within it. If you don’t legal action can be taken.
Do you have any further questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us, one of our professional and friendly divorce advisors will be more than happy to help.