Why choose our divorce solicitors in Warrington to assist with your divorce?
Our divorce solicitors in Warrington are very experienced. We understand that starting divorce proceedings can be difficult, confusing, and certainly emotional. However, our family solicitors in Warrington, Cheshire are experienced in dealing with both complicated and sensitive family breakdowns.
An overview of the divorce process appears below. Visit our other page for financial matters arising from your divorce .
Grounds for Divorce
There is only one ground for divorce and that is the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage.
The spouse who becomes the Petitioner in the divorce proceedings (namely the person who starts the proceedings), has to prove to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and must rely upon one of the following five facts in support of that:-
- Unreasonable behaviour;
- Two years separation with consent; or
- Five years separation.
Starting Divorce Proceedings
Provided you have been married for at least one year, you can start divorce proceedings by filing a Divorce Petition at court.
It is possible for either you or your spouse to issue the divorce proceedings and the party who does not instigate the proceedings will simply respond to the application and thereafter be known as the Respondent.
What is the Time Frame?
The divorce proceedings themselves tend to be straightforward. As a result, if uncontested matters do not become protracted, it is possible to get divorced within six months. However, there are likely to be additional issues and disputes surrounding financial matters (including property, maintenance, and pensions) which will likely increase the length of time it will take to finalise the divorce.
Rest assured, our specialist family solicitors in Warrington, Cheshire, can also provide expert advice concerning financial matters and assist you in bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion at the earliest opportunity.
If you wish to start divorce proceedings, if your spouse has started divorce proceedings or if you simply require further information and advice in this regard, please contact our divorce solicitors in Warrington for a free consultation regarding your matter. We hope to assist you in any way possible.
Even when court proceedings have not been issued, it is important to consider what a court would likely order so that you can be sure a fair agreement is reached, by consent, if at all possible.
The starting point in terms of the court’s consideration is often an equal division of all capital assets of the marriage. This can include (but is not limited to) property, pensions, and savings in a party’s sole name as well as in joint names. Our family solicitors will discuss this in more detail with you to ensure you fully understand the process and the court’s approach to matters.
The court also have a duty to consider whether it is possible and fair to achieve a clean break settlement in your divorce. This allows parties to cut all financial ties and move on. Practically, it means both parties are prevented from making any future financial claims against each other. A clean break is not always the answer however and sometime ongoing maintenance is needed. In the absence of any ongoing financial need of one party however, in the vast majority of cases, the court will arrive at the conclusion that a clean break is appropriate.
In considering divorce finances one of the most important considerations for the court, is the welfare of any child/children of the family under the age of 18. Their needs will be considered carefully particularly in relation to the need for suitable accommodation.
The court will be directed to section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which sets out a number of factors for the court to consider when dealing with divorce finances. Our family law solicitors will discuss the factors with you and explain how they can sometimes justify a departure from an equal division of assets.
These factors are as follows:
- Income and financial assets: The income, earning capacity, property, and other financial resources which each party has, or is likely to have in the foreseeable future. In the case of earning capacity, it would also be relevant to examine whether it was reasonable to expect one party to take steps to acquire an earning capacity;
- Financial responsibilities: The financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
- Standard of living: The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
- Age and length of marriage: The respective ages of the parties and the length of the marriage;
- Disabilities: Any physical or mental disability of either party to the marriage;
- Contributions: The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
- Behaviour or conduct: The conduct of each of the parties is considered in rare and exceptional cases;
- Additional values: The value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the divorce, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
The most appropriate outcome therefore is often one which balances the financial needs of each party (as well as any children involved) fairly.
Even family assets in your sole name are likely be considered a matrimonial asset particularly if the marriage is a lengthy one.
The court will, however, find that some assets are non-matrimonial and may therefore, adopt a different approach when dealing with them.
Non-matrimonial assets include the following:
- Any assets which have been inherited and kept separate from married/family life;
- Personal wealth or assets that have been raised or generated prior to the marriage or following the breakdown of the marriage;
- Personal injury compensation; and
- Interest in a trust.
Divorce solicitors often try to “ring-fence” these assets by arguing that they are non-matrimonial and should not be divided between parties. However, if the case is a needs-based one, and such assets need to be included in the division to achieve a fair outcome, the court will likely order your spouse to receive a share of them. It must be remembered that the court have a very wide discretion and each case can be treated differently depending upon the specific facts involved.
Our family law solicitors in Warrington understand that the breakdown of a marriage and the commencement of divorce proceedings can be stressful and emotional enough and can often be made even more difficult by a dispute in relation to the division of matrimonial assets.
Whether divorce proceedings have commenced or not, you can contact our divorce and family law solicitors in Warrington for a free consultation so that we can start assisting you in rebuilding your family’s future.
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