February 27, 2023

An Easy Divorce – Myth or Reality?

An Easy Divorce - Myth or Reality - RWK Goodman

Obtaining a divorce has become easier. Did you know, you can now apply online? This can be done in person or via a solicitor, but you will need:

  • your original marriage certificate (or a certified copy) + certified translation if not in English
  • proof of your name if you have changed it since you married
  • proof of your full names and addresses.

To qualify for divorce you will need to:

  1. be married for at least one year
  2. have a marriage that is legally recognised in the UK
  3. and your relationship needs to have permanently broken down.

For more complex aspects involving children and reaching a fair financial settlement, legal advice and support is usually essential.

Who gets custody of the children in a divorce?

Most people make arrangements for their children between themselves without the need for any court order. However, should issues occur, the common way to resolve disagreements is through mediation. Specialist mediators to speak with children can also be involved if required.

If unsuccessful, a court application for a Child Arrangements Order can be made. However, arrangements which work for, and are agreed by the family, are far better than a court order which can be enforced.

How are finances split in a divorce?

Financial aspects of the marriage breakdown again can be resolved through mediation. However, other options including collaborative law or a hybrid mediation process are available.

Most people need advice on a fair settlement, as courts do not simply rubber stamp private agreements into orders. Issues can be complex depending on the assets and needs of the parties and children. Spousal maintenance can also be a sticking point, and legal advice is often needed to resolve this.

If an agreement cannot be reached amicably, then a court application can be made, or other alternative methods, such as arbitration, can be considered.

It is essential that you have a final financial order with a clean break provision. This is because there is no time limit on any claims against one another further to the marriage breakdown. This ensures any claims are dismissed immediately or at some stage in the future. It is therefore advisable to take legal advice to be sure your claims are fully settled.

For other considerations including Capital Gains Tax, it is recommended that you seek legal advice with changes in legislation scheduled for next April.

Buying or selling property

If you are buying or selling a marital property you should be advised on the consequences of a transfer. For example, if being made under the terms of a court order, which provided it is between the spouses only, the transaction would be exempt from stamp duty.

Cohabiting couples

The law surrounding cohabitees is complex, with both parties having various claims on property and remedies under the Children Act for housing concerning children. When jointly purchasing a property, you should be advised on the way the property is held.

You should also consider a cohabitation agreement in which you can agree not to make future claims, and agree arrangements should your relationship break down.

Maria Mulroe RWK Goodman

How can RWK Goodman help

Relationships aren’t always straightforward, and sometimes situations will call for legal advice.

Our team of experienced family solicitors take the time to understand your personal circumstances, providing clear, sensitive and supportive guidance. Then if you need us to, we can take quick and effective action.

Maria Mulroe
Partner, Family law

E: [email protected]
T: 01793 847 777