Thinking about divorce?

What To Do If a Divorce Is Imminent

For many people, the thought of divorce can be both very stressful and trying. It is a time when emotions are running at their most overwhelming and much is said and done which is often regretted later. It is at times like this when having an expert divorce and family law solicitor who is sympathetic to your pain and at the same time is able to help in taking some of the strain of the breakdown in the marriage and assist in constructive negotiation is essential. If you believe your marriage has irreversibly broken down and that a divorce is unavoidable, you need to take some time out and think carefully about how you wish things to proceed. When you visit our office for the first time to discuss your proposed divorce, we will also need to obtain information from you about five essential issues you should be considering:

Solicitor

As soon as you know a divorce is imminent you need to consult a specialist divorce and family law solicitor who is an expert in that field of law. After all you would not take a broken finger to a mechanic so make sure that you think through your choice of solicitor carefully. A good solicitor will not just be one who knows their field of expertise. It is also important that you are able to communicate freely and comfortably with your solicitor and that you have confidence in their ability to safeguard your interests. At times like this cheap almost inevitably means ‘poor’ service. Divorce is one of the most painful experiences of life and it is vital to have an expert safeguarding you through such tumultuous times. Divorce law in England & Wales can be very complicated, especially relating to children matters and the financial aspects of the divorce, so make sure you know the facts from the experts and, don’t rely on advice from a mate who once went through a divorce!

Children

If you have children, deciding which parent they will live with following the divorce is going to be one of the hardest decisions you’ll make in your life. It is normal to put your own feelings first, but remember, you are a parent and like all parents you want the very best for your children. You need to be realistic and ensure you are putting your children’s needs ahead of your own. Good solid legal advice from an expert solicitor coupled with some sensible mature thinking is unbeatable at times like this. You also need to bear in mind that where the children live after the divorce may very well impact a number of other factors, such as the financial aspects of the divorce or, worse still, who gets to stay in the house after the divorce. It also has a direct impact in the level of Child Maintenance payments that the non-resident parent may have to pay.

Property

For most people their house is usually the most valuable asset they own. Losing the home, whether by selling it or worse yet losing it to your spouse can be extremely tough. When divorce is looming, you need to be thinking of whether or not you move out, whether your spouse moves out, or you both move out and sell the property. Despite what many people think, even spouses whose name is not on the deeds or who have contributed relatively little money to the household in the past will still have an equitable interest in the property. Consideration needs to be given to the extent of each of your interests in the equity of the house and how this will be paid. Money often brings out the worst in people’s charatcters and never moreso than during divorce. It is vital that you obtain expert and sensible advice as to your entitlements to the finances of the divorce and particularly that you do not rely on information being ‘fed’ to you by your soon-to-be-parting spouse. The financial aspects of the divorce are called Ancillary Relief proceedings. An expert family law solicitor will have unique experience of settling disputes between married couples over money and assets, including ideas that may well have never occured to you as possibilities. Negotiation skills will be vital in these cicumstances and during times of war, even Governments call in the experts to help negotiate a settlement. Think carefully about the financial implications of your proposed divorce and make sure that you tell your solicitor everything. You can get into a lot of trouble for withholding the full facts and figures.

Savings

Savings, just like all other assets must be shared in a divorce. This is an aspect of divorce that many people overlook. However there can often be many arguments for or against sharing savings and an expert family law solicitor will guide you through the options after obtaining all the facts and figures from you. Savings will often include your pension, but there are special rules that apply to pensions and the division of pensions can be very complex. The same applies to stocks & shares you may jointly have.

Debts

When a divorce is unavoidable, you should think fast about cancelling all joint credit cards and transferring loans to the person who is benefiting from the loan, such as transferring car loans to the person using the car. It is amazing how many divorced people in England today have bad credit ratings due to the actions of their ex-spouse after they divorced still having an effect on their credit rating. You may divorce your spouse in real life but as far as the credit rating agencies are concerned, you are still joined together. Debts will also reduce the amount of equity available to split and in some circumstances it may be able to apportion debt to one of you rather than the other, thereby reducing the other parties liability on the divorce settlement.

Divorce in England can be lengthy and stressful. So, if a divorce is imminent, try and make sure your affairs are in order as soon as you can and always ensure that you take the best possible advice available from the experts. We can help you get started. We offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation which will provide you with some basic advice relating to your circumstances and will also guide you through some of the pitfalls of the divorce process. Call us during normal office hours on 020 8401 7352 and you will be put through to an expert divorce and family law solicitor on a no obligation basis. Bear in mind we do get rather a lot of calls and if none of our solicitors are available to speak with you when you call, leave your name and number and we will call you back as soon as possible. We are members of Resolution and as such we are committed to helping divorcing couples through the divorce process amicably and smoothly.