Divorce tips from the experts
Ensure your divorce or separation is as fast and fair as possible without breaking the bank by reading the following tips from amicable’s divorce experts.
1. Know the basics
To get divorced, you need to arrange three things:
File the legal paperwork. Submit your divorce petition (form D8), apply for a decree nisi (form D84), and, once this has been processed, apply for a decree absolute (form D36). You may also file a consent order if you want to make your financial agreements legally binding.
Plan your finances. Agree what will happen to your home; where you will both live; and what money, assets and debts you have to divide.
Make a parenting plan. If you have children, you will need to agree on their living arrangements, how they will see both of you, who will pay for what, and how you will raise them. You can use the free online template at Splitting Up? Put Kids First.
2. Don’t rush your partner into it
While you may be keen to get things moving, rushing your partner into a divorce could slow the process down, particularly if you are at different stages of emotional readiness. Allow time for your partner to catch up with you, and be mindful not to apply pressure. In the meantime, look at other options, like professional coaching or counselling support to help with the process of letting go and moving on.
3. Know the facts, remove the emotion
The law isn’t concerned with who’s right and who’s wrong. The law is only concerned with the facts for the marriage breakdown. If you understand this when you begin the process, you will have a better chance of negotiating a settlement without a damaging and expensive legal process. It’s important to note that the reasons given for your marriage breakdown will not affect any of your financial or child arrangements.
Read more about the divorce law process in the UK.
4. Don’t rush off to a solicitor
There are many ways to divorce and different processes suit different people. Using a solicitor is usually expensive and can also create dependency and a barrier between you and your ex. Learning how to communicate with your ex can help you get through the process amicably without spending more than you can afford. If you have children or pets together, you’ll need to communicate after the divorce so it’s better to start learning how to do this effectively now as ex-partners.
There is a difference between legal information and legal advice. This page is an example of legal information, whereas legal advice is personalised to you. It’s more cost effective to start by seeking free legal information and giving yourselves a chance to work things out.
5. Be realistic on how long the divorce process takes
The divorce process can often take much longer than expected – this is one of the biggest causes of escalating costs. If you have never been through a divorce before, it’s unlikely you will have much idea of the steps involved. The UK court system is slower than you might expect – average processing times run between 20 and 22 weeks. Complete this form to get an idea of how long it may take you personally to get divorced.
6. Look forward
Don’t spend your time, energy or money arguing over the past. Change the conversation from ‘How do we split our stuff?’ to ‘What do we need to do to be happy in future?’. Or, if you have children, ‘What we need to do to ensure our children are happy’. This can help to see what’s most important to you and put your focus on that.
Kate Daly is a co-founder of amicable, the faster, fairer, fixed price way to separate and divorce. Kate is a divorce expert and helps couples and separated parents navigate divorce and separation amicably. She's passionate about changing the way the world divorces, and campaigns for fairer divorce laws and access to justice. To schedule a free, no-obligation call with Kate to talk through your divorce, please click here.