When going through a divorce, you are likely to be dealing with emotional turmoil, practical problems and legal issues.
You may feel denial, anger, guilt, fear and grief. Even if you want the relationship to end, you may still feel a sense of loss for the hopes and dreams you had at the time of your marriage. A divorce can be a time when you think about what you want out of life and what you could do differently. It may take a long time for you to come to accept your divorce and look towards the future.
There may be practical problems to deal with. If you own a house together, who gets to stay in the house or will you have to sell it? What about joint bank accounts and bills? Will you need to change your will? If you have children, who will they live with and when will the other partner see them?
Even if your divorce is simple and straightforward without complicating issues, it is a good idea to seek legal advice. There are lots of divorce solicitors in Darlington. So how do you decide which firm to choose?
Start by speaking to any friends who have been through a divorce. They may recommend a solicitor or say they had a terrible experience with their solicitor so you know to stay away. You may also find recommendations for divorce solicitors in Darlington online.
Macks Solicitors has built up a reputation for being one of the best divorce solicitors in Darlington and the region because of our quality, caring service. Many of our clients come to us following personal recommendations and leave happy to recommend us to their friends. Our expert team provide practical, no nonsense advice and will guide you through every step of the divorce process.
A divorce can take a minimum of 3-4 months. More complicated divorces will take longer. Generally one person will file for divorce, citing one of five possible grounds. Their partner then responds, usually within 2-3 weeks.
The five possible grounds to show your marriage has irretrievably broken down are: 1. adultery 2. unreasonable behaviour 3.desertion 4. living separately for two years with agreement on both sides or 5. living separately for five years without agreement. You may want to discuss the grounds with your partner before filing for divorce so that you can agree what information will be used. If you file for divorce and your partner contests the grounds, this can make the process last longer, for example, if you say your partner is having an affair and they deny it, you may want to file on grounds other than adultery if you cannot prove the affair.
Once a divorce petition has been served, the petitioner then completes an Affadavit to support the petition and an ‘Application for Decree Nisi’ form. Once the court is satisfied with the documentation, it will issue a Decree Nisi. You must then reach an agreement regarding your finances which is drafted into a Consent Order. Once approved by the court, this is legally binding for both parties. From six weeks after the Decree Nisi is issued, you can apply for a Decree Absolute which finalises the divorce.
Be wary of services offering a ‘divorce case manager’ or some other vague term rather than a fully qualified solicitor. These sort of services are particularly common online and may offer a ‘quickie’ divorce in a matter of weeks. If you use one of these services, they may not have the same professional experience as a solicitor, will not be regulated in the same way, cannot give legal advice and you won’t be protected if you are unhappy with the service provided.
Also be wary of ‘DIY divorce’ kits. This may seem like a cheap option if your divorce is straightforward but couples rarely have completely separate assets, even if you don’t own your home. It is always recommended to clarify your legal position before divorcing and to have access to legal advice at the different stages of the process. If you complete the wrong form or make a mistake on a form, you could delay the process or may even need to pay additional court fees.
Court fees may add hundreds of pounds to the cost of divorce. The divorce petition fee, decree absolute fee and consent order fee are £430 in total. If you are on a low income, you may be able to claim exemption from court fees. This will be linked to your entitlement for legal aid and your solicitor can discuss this in more detail with you.
Speaking to a solicitor is a good way to clarify your position and get clear advice from an expert at a time when you may not necessarily be at your most clear-headed. As one of the best divorce solicitors in Darlington, Macks can offer you a caring, quality expert service.