Deal­ing with divorce

Derbyshire Life - - Monumental Musings -

Tak­ing the first steps

If there is no other op­tion than to dis­solve your mar­riage, the fol­low­ing tips should help you through the process.

You may no longer be to­gether, but you are both still par­ents. The chil­dren’s needs must al­ways come first. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a key fac­tor. An­swer their ques­tions in an ageap­pro­pri­ate way and try not to be­lit­tle the other par­ent in front of them.

Divorce can be hard and there is bound to be some dif­fi­culty as you start to sep­a­rate and un­tan­gle your lives.

such as pro­vi­sion for mort­gage and house­hold bills. Try to come to an agree­ment with re­gards to these. Whilst in ‘big money cases’ there is enough to go around, in most divorce cases, it can be a strug­gle to make ends meet when there are sud­denly two house­holds to fund. These are called ‘needs cases’. Cer­tain things will have to be given pri­or­ity and if there are any chil­dren in­volved, then their needs will al­ways come first.

The solic­i­tors in the Fam­ily & Mat­ri­mo­nial team at Flint Bishop are mem­bers of an or­gan­i­sa­tion called Res­o­lu­tion and are com­mit­ted to the con­struc­tive res­o­lu­tion of fam­ily dis­putes. They fol­low a Code of Prac­tice which pro­motes a non-con­fronta­tional ap­proach to fam­ily prob­lems. By en­cour­ag­ing so­lu­tions that con­sider the needs of the whole fam­ily, in par­tic­u­lar the best in­ter­ests of any chil­dren in­volved, they are able to re­solve is­sues in a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial man­ner. Un­der the col­lab­o­ra­tive process, each per­son ap­points their own col­lab­o­ra­tively trained lawyer, be­fore all meet­ing face-to­face to work things out. Both of you will have your lawyer by your side through­out the process and so you will have their sup­port and le­gal ad­vice as you go. Fam­ily Law As­so­ciate, An­gela Davis, is the qual­i­fied col­lab­o­ra­tive lawyer at Flint Bishop.

Me­di­a­tors are trained to help re­solve dis­putes faced by sep­a­rat­ing cou­ples, such as ar­range­ments for any chil­dren and the fi­nan­cial as­pects of a divorce. The court ex­pects you to have con­sid­ered me­di­a­tion be­fore mak­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion to court in re­la­tion to the chil­dren or fi­nances. You can only get di­vorced if you have been mar­ried for more than 12 months. You then need to be able to prove that your mar­riage has ir­re­triev­ably bro­ken down by giv­ing a rea­son, re­ferred to as a ‘fact’, from the fol­low­ing op­tions:

– your spouse has com­mit­ted adul­tery, although you can­not use this rea­son if your spouse has com­mit­ted adul­tery with some­one of the same sex. This is be­cause un­der English and Welsh law, adul­tery is de­fined as vol­un­tary sex­ual in­ter­course be­tween a man and woman.

– your spouse’s be­hav­iour is such that you sim­ply can­not rea­son­ably be ex­pected to live with them.

– your spouse left you at least two years ago and you have not heard from them since.

– you have been sep­a­rated from your spouse for at least two years. There are three main stages of a divorce. These are:

– this is the name of the le­gal doc­u­ment that you will send to court to for­mally re­quest to dis­solve your mar­riage. You will need to state the rea­sons why you want to divorce us­ing one of the four ‘facts’, as al­ready men­tioned.

– the court will send your divorce ap­pli­ca­tion to your spouse or civil part­ner. They will then com­plete a doc­u­ment called an ‘Ac­knowl­edg­ment of Ser­vice’ and re­turn it to the court. As­sum­ing your spouse or civil part­ner does not de­fend the divorce, you can then ap­ply to the court for the De­cree Nisi, which is the pro­vi­sional stage of the divorce.

– this dis­solves your mar­riage and leaves you both free to re­marry.

The process is any­thing but quick, but it is fairly straight­for­ward. The more com­pli­cated el­e­ments of a divorce are deal­ing with the ar­range­ments for any chil­dren of the fam­ily and the fi­nances.

If you would like a copy of our free ‘Divorce – what you need to know’ guide, or if you would like help from a fam­ily so­lic­i­tor re­gard­ing any divorce queries, please con­tact

on or email

her at

Kir­pal Bid­mead

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