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Thinking about Divorce? Top 5 things to consider

If your relationship with your spouse has come to an end and you have decided that you want to get a divorce, you may now be wondering what you should be doing next.

If the thought of beginning the divorce process fills you with dread or you’re struggling to know where to start, here are the first 5 steps you need to take.

1. Is divorce definitely the answer?

Divorce is a decision that will change the course of your life. Before starting the divorce process, it is worth taking the time to reflect on whether it is definitely the right way forward for you. Have you and your spouse tried counselling? Is your marriage definitely over for good? Of course, you can change your mind further down the line, before the decree absolute, but by then you may have spent a great deal of money and time on your divorce.

2. Get in touch with a divorce solicitor

The end of a relationship can feel overwhelming. Not only are you now having to contemplate a life without someone you may have been with for a very long time, you are also having to begin to consider how you will untangle all of your finances and assets.

Getting advice from a solicitor as early on as possible, can help you to know what to expect and enable you to take control of the process. Often, it is the uncertainty about what the future could hold that causes the most stress.

3. Dig out your marriage certificate

You will need your marriage certificate if you want to get a divorce. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. It is possible to order a copy online.

4. Break the news to the children

People often leave this step until much later on in the process. Telling children that their parents will no longer be living in the same family unit can be difficult. However, being honest is normally the best policy, as children tend to pick up on issues and will worry much more if they don’t understand what is happening. How much you tell your children will largely depend on their age, but telling them (ideally together) that you both love them and encouraging them to tell you if they have any questions or concerns at any point, can help to alleviate their worries.

5. Start organising your finances

The financial side of a divorce can take much longer than the divorce process itself, especially if you or your spouse are high net worth individuals with international assets and investments.

Taking the time early on to list out your assets, income and any debt you have, together with any supporting paperwork, can help to get the negotiations moving as soon as possible.

Seeking independent advice from a family solicitor and pulling together the necessary paperwork, should help to get the divorce process off to as smooth a start as possible.

Making the decision to get a divorce may be difficult, but the divorce process itself needn’t be daunting. With advice from an experienced family solicitor, you can start the divorce process prepared for what may lie ahead and can begin to plan for the future.

How do i get a divorce

Is online divorce the future?

If you’ve typed the word ‘divorce’ into a search engine recently, you’ve more than likely come across companies offering quick, cheap divorces online. Many entice you in with temptingly low prices and promise you that their service means that you won’t need to hire a solicitor.

Before signing up for an online divorce, here are a few things that you need to know…

Not receiving any legal advice from a solicitor isn’t without its risks

A ‘DIY’ divorce is nothing new. It’s not necessary to get any legal advice in order to start the divorce process. There is no need to go through a company, as it’s possible to apply online or via post, by yourself.

However, going through the divorce process without any independent legal advice should be viewed with caution.

Many of the difficulties people face when going through the divorce process are to do with the financial side of things. Coming to an agreement about how any assets will be divided can be difficult and is often much more complex than either party realises at the outset.

Having a meeting with a family solicitor is not only useful to help you fully understand your rights and what the agreement will mean for your future, it will also ensure that you know how to make the financial settlement that you and your spouse agree to, legally binding.

No assets? A financial agreement is still vital

It’s not unusual to hear people saying that they intend to go for an online divorce because they don’t have any property or other assets to split, so there is no need to deal with this side of things anyway. However, if you and your spouse divorce without a legally binding financial agreement in place, either of you may be able make a claim against the other in the future.

The ‘quickie’ divorce does not exist

There is a legal minimum as to how long a divorce can take. In England and Wales, you can’t get a divorce in less than 6 weeks. In reality, most divorces take around six months to complete, but this can be much longer if the financial situation is more complicated.

When you read in the press about a celebrity going to court to get a quick divorce, they’re most likely referring to the decree nisi, rather than the final decree absolute.

Most importantly, companies offering online divorce can’t complete the divorce process any quicker than a good solicitor.

Is it really that cheap?

Check what’s covered in that ‘from’ price that you first saw advertised. Sometimes, court fees aren’t included in the price or the amount you saw advertised is just a first instalment in a package.

Make sure you know exactly what you are being charged for and what the final cost will be, before you sign up.

While online divorce companies may look like a tempting option at first glance, going through a divorce without seeking any independent legal advice is not without its risks. Although speaking to a solicitor can seem like an unnecessary cost, especially if money is tight, the legal advice that you receive could save you both time and money in the long run.

How can our expert divorce solicitors help you?

Our expert divorce solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues:

Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on financial disclosure

For more information on financial disclosure during divorce call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert divorce solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in our:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Sheffield Office: Pinfold Street, The Balance, Sheffield, S1 2GU

Manchester Office: King Street, Manchester, M2 4PD

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

London Office: 01 Nothumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5BW

Please contact us for more details. 

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11th April 2019

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