Legal advice on financial aspects of separation, divorce, and relationship breakdown
Making Financial Consent Order application at Family Court, Financial Remedy Order
Transfer of equity in house & implementing agreement
Laurence Holmes Solicitors, Elms Farm, Brinsea, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5JL
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Application for a
divorce or judicial separation
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act came into force on 6 April 2022. The ground for divorce is the same, that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. The change in divorce law was that particulars of behaviour or adultery or citing some other fact for a divorce are no longer required.)
The new divorce law can make it easier in some circumstances to apply for a divorce.
The new divorce law is far from being a “quickie” divorce and the timescale of 26 weeks in some cases does mean that getting a divorce takes longer now than under the 'fault-based' divorce procedure.
There is no saving in costs with the new divorce application as the court fee to apply for a divorce remains the same at £593. (Unless you are entitled to a fee exemption or reduction in the fee on divorce.)
According to government statistics, 22% of the divorce applications under the new law were made by joint parties so there is quite a low take-up for joint applications for divorce. A reduced court fee on divorce for joint applications for divorce is something the government could consider.
The online divorce process does not automatically consider your financial rights and therefore it is essential to obtain expert advice on the financial aspects ancillary to your divorce and about a financial settlement that is being discussed. I can help you reach an agreement, refer you to and/ or advise you about family mediation, or prepare and apply for a Financial Consent Order to the Family Court if you can agree matters between yourselves.
I can help with initial legal advice in Family Court cases and about financial claims on divorce.
If you would prefer to regularise your separation without actually divorcing there are two options available, judicial separation and/or a separation agreement.
Judicial separation involves you applying to a court to legally separate from your husband or wife without getting divorce. The court procedure is virtually identical to that which applies to a divorce. The essential difference is that the court pronounces a decree of judicial separation rather than a divorce and therefore you and your spouse would remain married. The main reasons people might choose judicial separation over divorce is if death benefits or other financial prospects are lost on divorce. You may also want a legal separation if you’ve been married for less than a year or for religious reasons.
Getting a legal separation is cheaper than a divorce as the court fee is £365 rather than £593.
Separation agreement, some couples prefer to reach an agreement about financial matters arising out of their separation without involving the court at all and so that the divorce financial arrangements are dealt with on a private basis. The way this can be achieved is for them to sign a separation agreement which incorporates the agreement they have reached. Commonly, separation agreements deal with confirmation that the parties to the marriage are to live apart and the manner in which any maintenance and property issues are to be dealt with. Whilst there are no restrictions on what can or cannot be included in such an agreement, it is important to bear in mind that if either person makes a subsequent financial application to the court, the court is not bound by the financial arrangements in a separation agreement.
I am a solicitor and provide a full range of services in family law locally in the Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Bristol areas and throughout England.