A quick guide to divorce

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Divorce proceedings are not only a legal process but also a journey from where you are when you separate from your spouse to the new life that you will have when the process is over.  

Divorce proceedings can take up to a year and this gives you the opportunity to transition from a place of unhappiness, vulnerability and/or abuse to one of physical, emotional and financial independence. Whilst every person's experience of divorce proceedings will be different, there is a structure to the process.

Divorce proceedings key steps:

  1. The divorce process which commences with the preparation of a Divorce Petition and is concluded when Decree Absolute is ordered by the Court
  2.   The preparation and exchange of financial disclosure
  3. Bespoke legal advice as to the financial options available to you based upon the specific circumstances of your case,
  4. Negotiation of the terms of financial settlement until a full and final agreement is reached
  5.  Preparation of the Consent Order setting out the terms of the financial agreement and obtaining the Court’s approval creating a legally binding Court Order
  6. Implementing the terms of the agreement

Tips to make divorce proceedings less stressful:

  • Take legal advice as early as you can to educate yourself as to the legal process, and what is involved, the likely costs and timescales and an overview of the potential options for a financial settlement.  We know how hard it is for you to send that email or pick up the phone to make the first contact with a lawyer but we are here waiting to help you whenever you are ready.  By the way, don’t take advice from anyone who has ever been divorced- your case is not the same as theirs -and you only ever hear the horror stories.  
  •  If you need support and/or assistance to escape domestic abuse we can put you in touch with organisations who can provide you with accommodation, medical attention and emotional support.
  • Consider engaging with a divorce coach or counsellor to seek emotional support to help you alongside the legal advice.  Divorce proceedings are stressful and you will be asked to provide your instructions and make difficult choices throughout the process.  Having someone to talk to, that is not a friend or family member, who can provide objective and non-positional advice can be invaluable in helping to clear your mind and allow space for the important life-changing decisions to be made.
  • Involve your financial advisor who can work with your solicitor to provide independent legal advice in conjunction with the divorce proceedings and financial negotiations.  You will give yourself access to a broad range of financial products, like pensions and mortgages to assist in facilitating a financial settlement.  If you do not have a financial advisor we have many professional contacts who we can introduce you to, dependent upon your needs.
  • Take a deep breath – and then decide what you want from your life, for yourself and your children.  This is your opportunity to make changes but if you do nothing, nothing will change.

How can we help?

Your divorce is about you, and you alone and your solicitor will provide you with the legal advice you need so that you can make informed choices about your future.

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.