How a Solicitor Can Help with a Divorce
Going through a divorce is not easy. With so many issues to resolve, untangling your life from that of an ex-spouse involves many tough decisions and requires much thought and careful planning.
It is a stressful time and emotions can run high. Even in the most amicable of breakups, there are difficult conversations to be had and reaching an agreement with an ex-partner can be hard.
Children and financial matters are particular points of contention when deciding on arrangements in a divorce and often cause the biggest friction between separating couples.
Communication can break down and, at a time when communication is key, this is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve for yourself and your family.
An experienced family law solicitor can help you through the divorce process by offering assistance in several ways. In this blog, Russell & Russell’s family lawyers consider the divorce process and look at how we can help save time, money and stress.
1. Manage communications.
With so many significant decisions to be made, a divorce is when you must communicate most effectively with your ex-partner. However, it is often the most difficult time to do so.
Involving a solicitor in the divorce process at an early stage can be invaluable in ensuring that the lines of communication between you and your ex-partner remain open. Enabling an experienced professional to liaise with your partner on your behalf removes the emotion from the situation and increases the likelihood of reaching an agreement.
A solicitor can help with communications between ex-partners in various ways depending on your circumstances and how you prefer to proceed. For example, we can:
- Negotiate directly with your ex-partner.
- Negotiate on your behalf with your ex-partner’s lawyers.
- Recommend mediation or arbitration to help reach an agreement.
- Advise on whether a proposed settlement is fair.
- Represent you in court.
You will still be responsible for providing instructions to your solicitor, but having an experienced family lawyer liaise with your ex-partner means any direct clashes are avoided.
2. Take care of all the paperwork.
A lot of paperwork is involved in a divorce – the application alone is 15 pages long. You need to complete several forms and provide different documentation at various stages of the process and must file additional paperwork relating to your financial settlement and arrangements for any children.
Some of the forms you need to complete as part of divorce proceedings include:
- Divorce application: Form D8. This form sets out the details of who is getting divorced and whether any children are involved.
- Acknowledgement of service: Form D10. If your spouse has applied for a divorce, you will be sent Form D10 to complete along with a copy of the divorce application.
- Application for a conditional order: Form D84. This form needs to be completed after the 20-week cooling-off period to ask for a conditional order to be granted.
- Application for a final order: Form D36. Six weeks after the conditional order has been granted, you can use this form to apply for the final order to legally end your marriage.
3. Prioritise your children.
Reaching an agreement with an ex-partner over arrangements for dependent children is the most important decision in a divorce but is also the most emotive.
An experienced solicitor will work with you and your ex-spouse to reach an agreement in a non-confrontational way that is in your children’s best interests.
Our specialist divorce lawyers at Russell & Russell are hugely experienced in child matters. We will advise on what arrangements are considered appropriate, managing your expectations and helping to reach an agreement without recourse to the Courts.
A solicitor will also be able to take care of all the paperwork in relation to your children, ensuring various documentation is completed properly and, if necessary, the agreement made between you and your ex-partner is legally binding.
4. Secure your financial future.
Money is the one common denominator in all ‘messy’ divorces. Finances are not dealt with automatically as part of the divorce process. Instead, separating spouses must detach themselves financially through a financial consent order that divides their possessions, money, and other assets fairly.
Agreeing on ‘who gets what’ can be complicated. Who keeps the family home? How much maintenance should you get? Do you have a claim to an ex-spouse’s pension? All these questions are potential flashpoints between parties and reaching a consensus that is considered ‘fair’ can be difficult.
An experienced family solicitor can help. We will guide you through the financial disclosure process and identify any potential red flags that might indicate a partner is trying to hide information or assets. A divorce lawyer will also be able to advise on what is considered ‘fair’ and draft a financial consent order that is in your best interests and safeguards your finances from any future claims.
Divorce Law Solicitors
If you are going through a divorce and need legal advice, please call 0800 103 2600 to speak to one of our team. Alternatively, you can fill in our online contact form, and someone will get back to you.
Regardless of how complicated you think your situation might be, Russell & Russell has the expertise to assist you with all areas of family and matrimonial law. Our expert family lawyers can advise you on all divorce and separation matters including:
- The Divorce Process.
- Financial Matters.
- Child Matters.
To find out more about our divorce service, please click here.
Please note that this article is meant as general guidance and not intended as legal or professional advice. Updates to the law may have changed since this article was published.