Family matters such as child custody, separation and child maintenance can be very serious and the approach and decision you take may impact your life for years to come. With that in mind, taking the first step and asking for legal assistance can often be the hardest part of your journey.
The first time you meet your dedicated divorce lawyer, the focus will be on understanding you and your situation including: family structure, separation circumstances, finances and desired outcomes. You will then be advised on the legal processes, routes and options available to help you achieve the outcome that’s best for you and your family.
Apart from giving you direction, it’s our commitment to you that you’ll feel informed and understand all of the options available to you. If at any point during the process you have questions, the team are on-hand to assist.
Your first appointment with Stowe Family Law also presents an opportunity for you to decide if you want to entrust your case to us and the divorce solicitor giving you that initial advice. The first appointment will typically cover things like:
Starting the divorce process
The person initiating the divorce submits a divorce application to the court and is thereafter known as the Applicant. If your ex-partner has already done that, then you will be referred to as the Respondent. The divorce process requires different actions of Applicants and Respondents at different times, and there are strategic implications for both, especially if one of you lives overseas.
How long your divorce is likely to take
In England & Wales, for straightforward and uncontested divorce cases, the process can take between 4 – 6 months. On average, the whole process takes approximately one year. Longer than 12 months is common for cases where there are drawn out disagreements on child and financial matters. It is impossible to predict exactly how long a divorce will take, though a good a divorce lawyer will help give you an educated estimate.
How much your divorce is likely to cost
In England & Wales, a divorce costs £550 for the application, plus any solicitor fees and court fees (if applicable). Going to court tends to make divorce more expensive due to court, barrister and additional solicitor fees.
The cleanest and most cost-effective divorces are those where both parties reach an agreement on how to divorce including: the reason for divorce, arrangements for children and the division of assets. Doing so will minimise the amount of solicitor time and the possibility of litigation in court.
Who gets the children in a divorce
Child arrangements depend largely on what the family decides, the suitability of each parent, the child’s wishes and where applicable, the ruling of a family court Judge. Resulting arrangements can include sole custody, where one parent is the sole caretaker of the child, joint custody and third-party custody where a third party such as a grandparent becomes responsible for the child’s welfare.
Your entitlement to the family home
As a starting point in a divorce, assets are split 50:50. As the family home is often the largest asset in the matrimonial pot, then it is common for it to be split between the parties. If a family has other assets, then the house could be given to one party and the other assets to the other. Children are another factor that affects financial arrangements during a divorce. To answer this question accurately, a comprehensive understanding will be required of your family finances.