Divorce & Separation Lawyers
When a married couple separate they may decide to end the legal relationship that exists by virtue of the marriage by divorcing or separation.
If the parties were not married then although there is no
requirement to legally bring the relationship to an end, there is
still the practical issues to deal with such as finances, the
family home, who will take care of the children and how often the
other parent will see them.
It can all seem very daunting but at Hughes Carlisle Law we have specialist lawyers who have the knowledge and experience to look after your rights and who are there for you every step of the way.
Grounds For Divorce
There is only one ground for divorce and that it that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The person who starts the divorce proceedings is known as 'The Petitioner' and their spouse is called 'The Respondent'.
To satisfy the Court that that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the Petitioner must prove one of the following five facts:
- The Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent.
- The Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent.
- The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately proceeding the start of the divorce.
- The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the start of the divorce and the Respondent consents to a decree being granted.
- The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately before the start of the divorce.
Because of the requirement that the Petitioner must prove one or more of the above facts, it is therefore possible for a situation to arise where although it is clear that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, a divorce is not possible because neither party can establish any of the five grounds.
Our divorce solicitors will be able to provide you with solid advice and support, as well advising you on your rights, duties and entitlements.
How to Get Started
How much will it cost?
The first consultation is free but at this meeting, in addition to advising you generally, we will assess your eligibility for public funding and provide you with a cost estimate if you do not qualify for Legal Aid.
In some cases we may agree 'a fixed cost' divorce so you know from the beginning just how much you will have to pay. Finding large sums of money can prove difficult and to ease the burden of paying legal costs we can offer the option of making payments of an agreed amount by way of monthly direct debits.
How long will it take?
Provided there are no complications then the divorce process should take approximately six months although it is not unusual for issues regarding finance and children to continue after the divorce has been finalised.
Can I change my name?
The simple answer to this is 'yes' you can, but this should be
done by way of a Change of Name Deed or a Statutory Declaration as
authorities such as Banks, Passport Office etc will require formal evidence of the change of name before they will amend their records.
A Change of Name Deed is not expensive and is usually done on a fixed fee basis.