The divorce process is emotionally overwhelming, and with so many issues to resolve, untwisting your life from that of your ex-spouse will mean making several tough decisions that should be carefully planned and considered.
Even in amicable circumstances, difficult conversations must be had and reaching agreements on various topics can be challenging.
Oftentimes, financial and children matters cause contention between divorcing partners and at a time when mature and constructive communication is vital, the breakdown of such can be counterproductive in achieving what is best for you and your family.
Instructing an experienced family lawyer to support you throughout the divorce process has several benefits. In this article, the Bowsers Solicitors family team consider the divorce process and how instructing a legal professional can help you save stress, money and time.
Prioritising Positive Communication
Although often easier said than done, it is highly beneficial to communicate effectively and patiently with your ex-spouse throughout divorce proceedings. By involving a solicitor at an early stage, you will establish an effective line of communication between you and your ex-partner. If your solicitor is negotiating with your spouse on your behalf, the element of emotion is reduced within the situation, increasing the likelihood of achieving a mutual agreement.
Depending on your preferences and the nature of the situation, our solicitors can:
- Negotiate directly with your ex-spouse.
- Negotiate with your ex-spouse’s lawyers on your behalf.
- Recommend mediation or arbitration as necessary to aid in reaching a mutual agreement.
- Advise on the appropriateness of a proposed settlement and offer guidance on any counter proposals.
- Represent you in court where necessary.
It is important to note that you remain responsible for instructing your lawyer; however, involving them can help to avoid problematic disagreements.
Assisting With Relevant Paperwork
Throughout the divorce process, several components of paperwork must be properly understood and completed. This can be incredibly daunting to a layperson – a divorce application alone is 15 pages!
Several forms must be completed, and lots of information must be provided. Although it is possible to complete the paperwork without the support of a legal professional, mistakes are easy and can prove costly in the long run, so seeking support is sensible.
Some of the paperwork that must be considered are outlined below. It should be noted that there is additional paperwork in divorces where children under 18 are involved. Find out more about this here.
- Form D8 (Divorce Application Form).
This sets out the details of who is getting divorced and any children.
- Form D10 (Acknowledgement of service).
If your spouse has applied for divorce, you will be sent this to complete alongside the divorce application.
- Form D84 (Application for a conditional order).
This needs to be completed after the 20-week ‘cooling-off’ period to ask for a conditional order to be granted.
- Form D36 (Application for a final order).
This should be used to apply for the final order to legally end the marriage six weeks after the conditional order has been granted.
Consider Your Financial Future
Contrary to popular belief, finances are not considered as part of the main divorce. Instead, separating spouses are liable to detach themselves financially through a financial consent order.
Financial consent orders specify how assets, property and finances are divided upon divorce. This element of the separation process is the one that causes the most contention, as agreeing ‘who gets what’ can be complex.
By working with an experienced family solicitor, they will be able to assist you in identifying any potential red flags that might indicate that your ex is trying to hide assets or information. In addition, they can guide you through the financial disclosure process and advise on what is considered fair. Finally, they can assist in drafting, amending and finalising a financial consent order that prioritises your best interests and safeguards your future finances.
Prioritising Your Children
The most emotionally overwhelming aspect of the divorce process is organising an agreement with your ex-spouse regarding your children. This aspect should be approached and finalised in a non-confrontational and productive manner that ensures the best interests of your dependent children remain the utmost priority.
The proficient and empathetic family lawyers at Bowsers Solicitors are hugely experienced in child matters and can advise on the most appropriate arrangements for you. We will be sure to manage your expectations whilst working with your ex-spouse and their legal team to reach an agreement without recourse to the court.
We will assist you in completing all the necessary paperwork and, where necessary, ensuring that the agreed arrangements are legally binding.
Divorce Lawyers in March and Wisbech
Even if you believe that your divorce will be straightforward, it is sensible to consider the advice of a trusted family solicitor. For advice and assistance on all aspects of divorce, including financial arrangements, separation agreements and child law, please contact Bowsers Solicitors today.