February 9, 2018

Our divorce is inevitable – what are the first steps I need to take?

The realisation that divorce is inevitable can result in wide-ranging emotions spanning despair, frustration – and fear of starting all over again.

It is very rare that the person instigating the break up, or the partner who is being left, are prepared for the collapse of the marriage.

Embarking on a life-changing path can seem daunting, but our specialist family lawyers at Jones Myers can support and guide clients on that difficult journey. The steps below will help you to start and manage the divorce process:

Check you can apply for a divorce  

You must be married for over a year before starting divorce proceedings. Your marriage must be recognised by UK law and, in most instances, you or your partner will  be living in England or Wales when making an application. You will also need to produce your marriage certificate.

Establish your grounds for divorce

In England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce – the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. You must show one of these five facts exist for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour – a common ground for a speedy divorce which can be based on mild allegations such as one party being a workaholic
  • Desertion
  • Two years’ separation – if both parties agree to the divorce, this is the easiest way to divorce
  • Five year’s separation – applicable even if your ex doesn’t agree to the divorce

Seek early professional advice

 Enlist professional support, sound advice and practical help from family law experts like Jones Myers who can help you with all aspects of divorce and separation including finances and children. Having the correct information early on can help you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes later. Knowing what to expect will also settle many preconceived anxieties.

Avoid inflaming the situation

Don’t be tempted to start moving money out of a bank account or change locks on your family home. It may be the main asset and central to any financial settlement. If possible, it is better if one of you can move out to help avoid confrontation and stress. This move does not mean that your or your ex will lose your share in the home.

Telling your children

Parents often find this to be the hardest aspect of splitting up. Don’t leave it too late and, if possible, break the news together after planning your approach and what you will say. Don’t blame each other – aim to be consistent in what you say and reassure them that they are loved.

For more information about the divorce process or any aspect of family law, call Jones Myers at our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104, visit jm2023.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet us @helpwithdivorce