The decision to divorce is one of the most important decisions that you will take in your life. It is vitally important to obtain realistic and practical advice about the consequences of who divorces who, the arrangements for your children and your financial prospects at the outset. At the very least this advice can make you feel that you have some control over a very unfamiliar situation and give you some reassurance as to what your long term future may hold following divorce.
Contact James Muir-Little, Partner and Head of Family Law on 01227 763939 for further information and to discuss an initial fix fee interview about your situation. Alternatively, use the form on the right to send an enquiry.
Furley Page family law team is based in Canterbury, Kent and Chatham, Medway. We also see clients at our London and Whitstable offices by prior arrangement.
Whether you feel that you and your spouse will be able to sort things out as amicably as possible or whether you fear that you are in for a long hard struggle, we have a team of dedicated divorce solicitors who can advise you.
Our solicitors breadth of our expertise covers everything from mediation and collaborative law for those couples who wish to solve the practical consequences of their divorce together to Rights of Audience in the High Court for those who cannot.
The divorce proceedings are the means by which the parties' marriage is dissolved. Although the Court can resolve any issues relating to the children of the family or financial matters within the divorce neither the decree nisi nor the decree absolute will, of themselves, activate the legal procedures for dealing with these aspects of the separation or endorse any agreement with regard to finances that has been reached between the couple.
It is a common misconception that the parties must have been separated for two years or more before divorce proceedings can be issued, unless one party has committed adultery or behaved in a highly unreasonable manner. In fact, it is not necessary to allege behaviour that is extreme in order to obtain a decree and it is often possible for the parties to agree the particulars of behaviour in advance or for them to be pleaded in such a form as to give little or no offence to the other party.
Similarly, many people believe that they can then only rely upon adultery which occurred prior to the separation. This is not so and where a new relationship has formed it is frequently possible to agree that the petition will proceed on the basis of adultery without naming the co-respondent.
If one or both parties take the view that the marriage has irretrievably broken down the principal advantage of formalising a separation within divorce proceedings is that the petition enables the Court to deal with the financial issues.
If an agreement has been reached an application can be made to the Court for an order in the terms agreed. The Court order provides, with one or two exceptions, a final division of the parties' assets so that, for instance, if one party has agreed to waive their claims for maintenance in return for an increased share of property, the agreement cannot be set aside at a later date.
If there is no agreement as to financial issues, so that, for instance, the matrimonial home cannot be sold, the petition provides the means by which the Court can be invited to make orders dealing with the parties' property.
For a minority of people divorce proceedings are not available or are not a practical possibility. In those circumstances, exactly the same remedies, with two exceptions, are available by means of a petition for a decree of judicial separation. Alternatively, if the parties are not yet ready to divorce but wish to record the financial agreement which they have reached, a 'deed of separation' may be more suitable.
In nearly every case, the divorce petition proceeds undefended and without the need for a court hearing or a detailed examination of the allegations made by either party.
... May I take this opportunity of thanking you so much for all the work you have already done on my behalf ... It has been worth every penny of your costs for the confidence you have always given me during the course of these protracted Divorce negotiations...
Client of James Muir-Little - Mrs M, Kent