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Blacks Legal • Nov 04, 2021

Sadly, marriages come to an end and this often leads to a lengthy divorce process including family law attorneys, divorce papers and a tribunal case. If your relationship has come to an end you will be beginning to consider the options available to you in order to start fresh away from each other.

If you’re going through a divorce it can be a scary and challenging time. Divorce solicitors will be there to help you every step of the way to help you get the outcome you deserve. Some people may feel like they can tackle their divorce without a solicitor, however, it requires a lot of experience and expertise to properly handle the situation. Furthermore, as it is an extremely emotional time for you and your family, it can often be more helpful to have a solicitor be the voice of reason during your divorce.

Here’s how solicitors can help you during this time.

Reasons for a divorce

You can only get a divorce if all of the following apply to you:

●     Your marriage is legally recognised in the UK

●     You’ve been married for at least a year

●     You have a permanent home in England or Wales

To end your marriage, you’ll need to show one of these five reasons:

●     Unreasonable behaviour - anything your partner has done that shows you cannot live with them anymore

●     Your partner left you at least two years ago - known as ‘desertion’

●     Your husband or wife has committed adultery

●     You’ve lived apart from your partner for more than two years and they agree to the divorce

●     You’ve lived apart from your partner for more than five years (they do not need to agree to the divorce)

Getting legal advice about a divorce

Solicitors are trained and qualified in divorce law and can advise you on how to handle the situation appropriately. They are also able to offer advice on a range of related matters including situations where you may need a family law attorney. This includes buying or selling property, writing a new will and child custody. Although you don’t need to use a solicitor for every step of your divorce if you don’t want to or can’t afford to. Getting legal advice early will start you on the right track and provide you with much-needed support.

You should seek legal advice as soon as possible if you:

●     Are at risk of domestic violence or being made homeless

●     Are unsure what a fair settlement would be

●     Have a lot of assets

●     Are not being allowed enough access to your children

●     Are in a vulnerable financial position compared with your partner

●     Got married abroad, or you, your ex-partner or your children have non-UK nationality.

How a solicitor can help

Initiating and responding to divorce proceedings

Often, the hardest part is getting the ball rolling. It can be challenging to take that first step towards initiating your divorce, but a qualified solicitor will put you at ease and ensure the process goes smoothly. They will guide you through all the legal and practical details you’ll need to consider and help you with the paperwork you’ll need to complete.

This includes correspondence with your spouse and their solicitors, drafting and filing your divorce petition, responding to a divorce petition, applying for a Decree Nisi and applying for a Decree Absolute. You may not know what some of these things are let alone how to complete any of these important steps. That’s where a solicitor comes in to help you get through these challenging steps.

Provide legal representation in court or at a tribunal case

While everyone hopes their divorce can be settled through an amicable agreement, this isn’t always the case. Occasionally it is necessary for a case to be taken to court or settled through a tribunal case. For you to do this successfully, you’ll need good representation from a divorce solicitor. Finding a team of highly experienced solicitors such as Blacks Legal Ltd will ensure you get the best representation possible. They will help you with court proceedings for contested divorces, applying for Financial Order, applying for a Child Arrangements Order and domestic abuse injunctions.

Making a financial settlement

One of the most stressful parts of a divorce can often be the financial settlement. It’s a crucial part in allowing you to make a clean break away from your ex-partner and start the next phase of your life. This can be particularly tricky to handle so recruiting a good solicitor is vital. They help you get a fair settlement that meets your needs, and the needs of any other children or dependents you have, often without the need for court proceedings.

Solicitors will also be able to assist you with the division of marital assets including your family home, savings and investments. This can be a challenge and cause a lot of back and forth between the two parties. By leaving this work to a professional you can feel at ease that you can receive the best possible outcome from your financial settlement. A financial settlement will also cover child maintenance, spousal maintenance, pension entitlements and business interests and other complex assets.

Managing childcare arrangements

When children are involved in a divorce it makes matters much more complicated and emotionally challenging. This is a matter that should be handled sensitively and the solicitors will work with you and your ex-partner to determine the best possible course of action for your children. They will help you with matters including:

●     Where children will live

●     What contact a non-resident parent will have with children

●     Schooling arrangements

●     Changing children’s surnames following divorce

●     Taking children abroad following divorce

Find a legal representative to help with your divorce

To help you through the divorce process with as little stress and worry as possible, it’s important you find the right solicitors to help you. It’s best to find local solicitors that have plenty of experience dealing with divorce and family law. Ask your friends and family what solicitors they have used in the past as they will be able to recommend any law firms they liked working with. It will also be worthwhile reading their testimonials and reviews to see what other people say about their professionalism, knowledge and expertise.

Avoiding going to court

While every divorce will need to be finalised in court, you don’t need to go to court to reach a settlement with your ex-partner. This can be done through mediation or arbitration.

Mediation

A judge will expect you and your partner to have at least tried mediation before you go to court. A mediator is trained in assisting couples to come to a decision for a settlement, even on difficult issues. They won’t take sides and will come to a decision that suits you both. During the mediation, your solicitor will help you through the process and give you legal advice.

Arbitration

Arbitration is another way of resolving disputes without going to court. It applies the law in the same way as the Family Court but it can help you and your ex-partner resolve any disputes more quickly and affordably. You and your partner will enter into an agreement and will be legally bound by the arbitrator’s decision.

They can resolve disputes about:

●     property and finance

●     child maintenance

●     living and contact arrangements for children

●     other arrangements for children, such as schooling

If you choose to use arbitration, you can speak to your solicitor about this option and they will refer you to an arbitrator.

Blacks Legal: Legal representatives in London and Essex

Are you looking for a reliable divorce solicitor in London or Essex? Blacks Legal can assist you with everything from divorce papers to representation in court. We have over 30 years of experience providing legal advice to our clients and aim to deal with each case in a friendly manner, providing a professional service with a personal touch. Tackling a divorce is tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. Get in touch with the solicitors at Blacks Legal and our team will give you the support you need. We also provide a range of other legal services including property law, wills and probate, employment law and immigration law. Call us on 020 3500 7471.

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