Deciding to divorce is never an easy decision and should not be taken lightly.
There are a number of considerations to take into account before pressing on with making a divorce application (known as a petition) and we will look at some of the considerations here.
First and foremost, we would always recommend that you talk to your family or friends. People who are close to you that you trust can often provide sound honest advice and if you do decide to go ahead – they provide invaluable support during the often traumatic if not stressful experience.
The main options available to you when you consider your marriage is over are as follows:
We spend considerable time and money in getting married, often children are involved and they need to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds when the marriage is not working out. Would it be better to attempt to reconcile your differences or would staying together have an even greater detrimental impact on you and/or the children if you were to try to muddle through and stay together.
Would a period of time of separation help to cool things down? Often when one spouse has done something that we find it difficult to forgive immediately, can over time seem less important or we find it in our hearts to forgive those misdeeds with the effluxion of time. Being too hasty to start divorce proceedings can be time consuming and very costly and often can antagonise the situation and that is unhealthy for everyone concerned, especially any children that you may have.
3. Judicial Separation
An alternative to divorce, especially for those of a religious conviction that prevents them from divorcing, such as those of the Catholic faith, can obtain a judicial or legal separation instead. A judicial separation is like a formal separation; unlike point 2 above, this is dealt with through the court process and is a formal, legal recognition that you are separated. The criteria for obtaining a judicial separation are the same for obtaining a divorce. However, if you subsequently do decide to divorce, having first judicially separated could simply have been an expensive half way house and an unnecessary additional financial and emotional burden you could have done without.
If you feel that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, then you could obtain a divorce to permanently bring your marriage to an end. We will look at the criteria for obtaining a divorce in subsequent articles.
As far as we are concerned, the next stage before you embark on your chosen path would be to consider two main other matters:
5. Legal Advice
Which Solicitor should you choose or could you even do the divorce yourself or online. This is such an important point that we will write a whole article on this point alone and help you determine how to find and choose a good solicitor.
Nowadays with more and more emphasis on mediation by the politicians and the judiciary it is now hard to ignore the impact on mediation in family matters and before you start your case. In some cases, you are obliged (i.e. must) attend at least a mediation information and advice session (MIAM) before you can issue proceedings. In some instances to ignore mediation, you do so at your own peril – as mediation can be a civilised, healthy and constructive way of bringing your relationship to an end and resolving conflicts and issues relating to not only the divorce, but also in relation to children and finances and property.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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