Going through the process of divorce is not something that many of us repeat. So, it’s a fresh experience for most people and that can mean a lot of unknowns. These common divorce law questions might seem obvious but, because divorce is such unchartered territory, they still need answering.
What’s a “quickie divorce” and how can I get one?
The idea of a “quickie divorce” is something of a media fabrication. The average divorce in the UK takes 12 to 15 weeks and it’s rare to be able to bring it about any sooner, even with total agreement on both sides. Divorce happens in stages so “quickie” instant divorces don’t exist.
We want to use the same solicitor for our divorce, is that possible?
No. Because divorcing parties have very different interests this wouldn’t be a good idea from the point of view of a client. For the lawyers there is a serious conflict of interest and one that wouldn’t permit advice to be given to both parties at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you have already agreed all the details you still need independent legal advice from different solicitors.
When does the court get involved?
Only if your divorce gets into disputes territory. If you have agreed all the details then you won’t need to go to court – instead, everything can be dealt with by post.
What about disputes over finances?
If only the financial element of your divorce is in dispute it’s highly likely that you’ll still need to go to court to sort out the differences. The financial elements of a divorce can be some of the most contentious and can take the longest to resolve. So, if you direct your energies at any part of the divorce process, trying to find agreement on severing your financial ties should be it.
Do you have to get married in England and Wales to get a divorce here?
No, not necessarily. You need a connection with this country to get divorced here – such as being born in England, for example – but there is no requirement for a marriage to have taken place here too. If you have been married abroad and you want to be divorced in this country then you’ll need documents such as your marriage certificate – with an English translation for the UK courts.
How much private information has to be disclosed during a divorce?
Although it can feel uncomfortable, divorce does involve the sharing of a lot of private information. Your pay slips, information about your bank account and income are all included in what you’ll need to disclose.
What if we have been living apart from a while?
You’re still under an obligation to account for what you’ve been spending and earning during the time you’ve been apart. Until you have reached agreement on the finances then there isn’t anything that is off the table.
These are some of the most common questions when it comes to getting divorced in England and Wales – if you have others then feel free to get in touch.