Nobody wants to have to think about the possibility of getting divorced when they are settling down with their beloved, however, with the pandemic, the UK has seen a rise of 95% in enquiries to legal firms about divorce. While this may make for troubling reading, it may also be relatable and if you are considering getting a divorce, it can help to know what to expect, where the legal process is concerned. It is possible to get divorced without the assistance of family solicitors Portsmouth as there is just some paperwork to complete, however this may be too stressful when emotions are already flying high. It is also essential to have a solicitor to help with ensuring that your rights are protected when it comes to settling other issues such as finances and arrangements for children, which are separate processes from the divorce itself.
When you get married, you are signing a legal contract. No matter how many flowers there are on the big day, the rose tinted view of romantically tying the knot in a church, registry office, castle or on the beach is always completed with the signing of the marriage certificate. And this legally binding document has to be dissolved if you choose to end your contract. It is a painful process that can be extremely upsetting, but with the assistance of a solicitor, much of the weight may be taken off your shoulders where form-filling is concerned.
To get divorced, you first need to pay a fee for getting divorced. This is standard, no matter which solicitors you may choose to use to help you. Your application will be made and your husband or wife will then need to respond to the ‘acknowledgement of service’ form that the court will send to them. If you are filing for divorce because you believe your husband or wife has had an affair, the person they have had an affair with will also be asked to respond.
Once your husband or wife receives the acknowledgement of service form, they can respond in one of three ways: they can agree to get divorced; they can try to defend it (disagree); or they can object to paying all of the costs, if you have claimed these from them. If they agree, you may then begin the process of applying for the decree nisi – a document that affirms that the courts cannot see a reason why you should not be divorced. If they do try to defend it or do not respond, you may have to go to court and legal representation would certainly be advisable by this stage.
Once you are in a position to apply for the decree nisi, you must state one of five reasons for the divorce: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years’ separation or 5 years’ separation. Once the judge agrees that you have grounds for a divorce, you will then be issued a decree nisi. You must then wait 6 weeks and 1 day before applying for the ‘decree absolute’, which is a document that actually ends the marriage. If the judge does not agree to issue the decree nisi, you will receive a form from the judge explaining the reasons why and what to do next. The judge may require more information or for you to attend a court hearing.
Breaking up is hard to do
There can be no doubt that getting divorced is upsetting, but it is sometimes necessary for the greater good of those involved. Seeking the support of a solicitor who is experienced in handling such cases can be reassuring and will alleviate the legal burden surrounding the process. Make sure you do your research and find an experienced and recommended firm for the smoothest experience possible.