Can One Party Dispute A Divorce?
No, one party can’t dispute a divorce except in very limited legal circumstances.
What Happens If Your Spouse Can’t Be Located?
With the no-fault divorce, if your spouse can’t be located you can ask the court to go ahead without a response from your partner to the court notification form.
Do You Need Legal Help to Get A Divorce?
Applying for a divorce is legally binding and the terms cannot be changed once they are agreed – which is why it’s recommended to seek legal advice from a divorce solicitor at the start of the process.
Every aspect of divorce must be considered and all paperwork completed accurately, having legal help to get a divorce ensures you fully understand the legal complexities of divorcing and find the best possible outcome for your future.
Is Obtaining The Divorce The Only Legal Consideration?
The divorce itself is only one element of the process, and professional legal advice might be needed for sorting assets, finance and child arrangements going forward.
The division of finances, property and assets during divorce must be formalised by a Consent Order to make it legally valid. If children are involved, arrangements will need to be made for their care for the future and then agreed to by the court.
What Is A Solicitor’s Role In The Divorce Process?
A large part of a divorce solicitor’s role is to try to negotiate a divorce financial settlement, to enable open and frank conversations between the separating couple and allow for terms to be agreed upon.
If a couple can’t reach an agreement and it looks like court intervention might be necessary, then the couple normally has to at least attempt mediation.
While some solicitors do offer this service, it’s not a legal service.
However, all solicitors will provide any ongoing support and guidance during the process, as well as help to prepare paperwork for court, and advise on financial matters including pensions and savings as well as advise on childcare issues and your entitlements.
Providing emotional support and legal advice throughout, you are far more likely to secure the divorce settlement that’s right for you with the help of a family law solicitor – and ensure that every aspect of the process is taken care of.
What Is Family Mediation?
Mediation is often recommended as the first step to agree a divorce settlement. This is because it can be more cost-effective as a solution than a solicitor negotiation option, and the separating couple have more control over the negotiations this way.
What Is A MIAM?
The first meeting of a family mediation session is often called a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting – or MIAM.
A MIAM lasts about an hour and is designed to provide the separating couple with the opportunity to explain to the mediator about their situation. The mediator will state if the couple is suitable for ongoing mediation sessions, following this initial meeting.
The couple can then decide if they want to proceed or to find another way to resolve the issue.
The mediator will also refer the couple to other organisations for help with financial advice and information on coping strategies after the separation.
You can get a MIAM for free with Legal Aid, otherwise the cost varies but as a guide, costs approximately £120 per person.
Usually, to be able to take your case to court, you have to attend a MIAM before making an application. This is because court should always be the last resort.
Is A MIAM The Same As Mediation?
A MIAM is different to mediation and helps you to understand your options when it comes to resolving your issues.
What If Mediation Fails?
Mediation is not suitable for all divorcing couples and sometimes the only solution is court.
However, even if mediation fails or isn’t the right solution for your situation, once you’ve attended a MIAM your solicitor will be able to help you with court proceedings, should this be your chosen option.
Your solicitor can help you handle the court proceedings and represent you, preparing your case for presentation to the judge and can communicate with your spouse through their solicitor if needed.
Was Removing Grounds For Divorce The Right Decision?
Yes, the no-fault divorce represents a positive change to divorce law as it enables separating couples – whether they are spouses in a marriage or partners in a civil partnership – to apply for a divorce without blame.
The divorce process is clearer and uses more modern language to make it more accessible and straightforward. It is fairer to both parties now as a result of removing the need for accusations and the option to contest the divorce other than on specific legal grounds. There is also a minimum wait time of 20 weeks between making the application and the conditional order of divorce, providing time to reflect or reach a reconciliation as well as time to agree on the important matters for the future such as children, property and finances.