When a relationship ends you have to try and think clearly about the best course of action. This is difficult to do as you will probably be experiencing one of the most difficult and emotional times of your life.
There will be lots of things running through your mind although when you break it down most people will worry about what is going to happen as far as the children are concerned, if you have a family, are you going to be able to manage from a financial point of view and, if you are married, how do you go about getting a divorce.
You need a lawyer who is on your side who will discuss your circumstances with you and help you plan the way forward.
When people hear the word divorce it is natural to think about courts and judges making decisions. Actually, in most cases, that’s not the way it works.You will speak to your lawyer about the arrangements for the children and how to divide the assets and there will follow a period of negotiation with both sides trying to reach an agreement without the necessity of the courts being involved.
That negotiation can be by email or letter or it might be appropriate to have a joint meeting and discuss matters face-to-face. You may use the Collaborative process where both people involved agree to work together to sort matters out with the help of the solicitors. In this type of negotiation there is an agreement not to go to court.
Alternatively, there could be a referral to a family mediator who will act impartially and try and help you resolve matters . The end product of this negotiation is to enter into a binding written contract (a separation agreement) which will set out the exact terms of what has been agreed. After that has been done, if you are married, in due course you can ask the court to grant a divorce.
Even though divorce might not be the immediate goal it is useful to know the grounds on which a divorce can be granted. When a marriage has broken down irretrievably a person can apply for a divorce on one of the following grounds:
Unlike, in some other countries, the focus is on sorting matters out, entering into a separation agreement and then proceeding to divorce.
Although that is the process in the vast majority of cases, there are situations where the court action will come first. There may be a situation where there has been violence and a court order is required to protect parties. In other cases, one person might think that the other is trying to hide or dispose of assets and again, in that situation, negotiation would be ineffective and a court action preventing the assets disappearing might be necessary.
It all depends on your personal circumstances. You should contact us to arrange an appointment and discuss what matters to you. Our experience of dealing with similar situations coupled with what you have told us about your specific case will allow us to advise you on what the best way forward should be to achieve a positive outcome that is in the best interests of yourself and your family.