IF DIVORCE IS EVEN A FEAR OR A PROSPECT THEN YOU NEED TO GET PREPARED
Those of us that have been there know that up there with moving house and bereavement, divorce is one of the most stressful times .......
Those of us that have been there know that up there with moving house and bereavement, divorce is one of the most stressful times anyone goes through in their life, regardless of age, race, background or sexual orientation.
That aside. There are a number of things you need to think about. I’m not talking about emotions here. They need to sit on the shelf for a minute. I’m talking about the stuff that’ll help you get on with the rest of your life and move on from a time of your life that you may rather forget.
Even before you're really accepting of the idea that divorce is inevitable, while you're still hoping fr change or dreading defeat, despite all the emotional turmoil, all the doubts, fears and uncertainties please, please start to think about the practicalities of being prepared "for the worst". Much of that preparedness is positive in any outcome and the rest may help you find resolve in whichever direction you choose so it really is a good way to get grounded.
There are three key things to consider to make things as quick and painless as possible. Please note that this is mostly aimed at the petitioner (person filing for divorce) in the first instance:
STEP ONE – GROUNDS
Choose your grounds carefully. The wrong ones could result in your former spouse contesting your petition. Contesting costs money. Money you don’t want to be spending. In the UK, you can file for divorce on five different grounds:
- Two years’ separation with consent
- Five years separation with consent
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Five years’ separation without consent (otherwise known as desertion)
The most common one used in UK divorce proceedings is unreasonable behaviour, but, you will also need evidence of at least two episodes of such behaviour. This is something you can go through with a solicitor. This goes on to my next step:
STEP TWO – FIND A GOOD SOLICITOR
A good solicitor is key to a tidy divorce. Well, as tidy as it can be at least if you didn’t part on the best of terms. There are a few things you need to factor around this. Are they able to accommodate your current financial situation (most good law firms will come to an arrangement with you over fees), are you happy with the advice they give you on the first consultation and can you see yourself building a good working relationship with them?
If the answer to either of those questions is no, then don’t feel obliged to instruct the solicitor just because you have had a consultation. Don’t be scared to get more than one legal opinion on your case before you pick who you feel is the right solicitor for you.
STEP THREE – GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
If you have an overdraft, reduce it or get rid of it completely if you can. Keep all of your spending at a complete minimum and save every penny you can. What people forget to tell you is the court fees alone are roughly £1000, that’s before your solicitor has even done anything with them!
Try and get some money in savings for unexpected costs. (not too much mind, as the former spouse might try and go for half later on in the proceedings if there is a substantial amount there) Unexpected or unusual costs such as court fees, maybe even a little left aside for any emergency work on the house so you’re not left penniless should anything happen, that sort of thing. Something else to keep in mind is that the court may want to see your bank statements. So, keeping spending at a minimum keeps things tidy, making life easier for all. That means your decree absolute may come that little bit quicker.