Overview – Wondering about divorcing or separating?
No one plans a separation or divorce but, unfortunately, it happens, relationships fall apart and we end up going in different directions. The dictionary describes either divorcing or separating as ‘The legal dissolution of a marriage’ or a ‘separation between people that were once connected or associated.’
Divorce or separation can be tricky and by no means as straight forward as some people may think. Unfortunately, most of us misunderstand how splitting up and divorce works, and this can cause confusion and anxiety. If you feel that there really is no other way forward other than divorce or separation there are a few things about the process that you really need to understand from the outset:
It takes a long time. It’s best to realise that you will have many months of not really knowing what the future will look like, albeit a fresh start in life, later on. Generally speaking the more involved a relationship is the more time it will take to mutually unravel it, particularly if there are children involved.
Are you getting divorced?
It’s not one process, but three. People think of divorce as ending the marriage, dealing with issues like how to divide the money or property, and sorting arrangements for the children all in one go. But these are really three different processes, dealt with separately, but often all going on at the same time. If you have children, the first thing you will want to get clear is how you will arrange things for them, for now and the long term.
Separation, again, chances are it will take two or three stages which are: agreeing to separate, moving out and coming up with a temporary plan, then finalising personal belongings, assets and finances. Each person will need their own time lapse to adjust emotionally to their current predicament before anyone can move on.
Your life is not like a weekly soap drama and in reality this episode of your life can be resolved.
Very few people can afford, financially or emotionally, to fight a legal battle. Automatically some people think they need to get solicitors and society has manipulated us in thinking that this is the route, to go to court in order to protect themselves and to get ‘what they are entitled to.’ This is a costly and stressful misunderstanding of the system. Initially it’s best to agree as much as you can, either by yourselves, with friends help or family mediation and lastly solicitors. Going to court is very much a final resort. Did you know you can’t go to court about a family matter without proving that you have explored the service of using family mediation first?
Family mediation aims to help you agree on how you will live apart and guides you in helping to create a forward plan for both parties, including taking into account the welfare of any children. Avoiding having to go to a court hearing is much more sensible. There is still no such thing as a ‘no fault’ divorce in
England and Wales, as both sides are deemed responsible. One of you has to divorce the other, and you have to have a valid reason. Who applies for the divorce does not affect who gets what or where the children will live. It will be much easier if you can agree who will divorce who and agree on what to say.
You do not get bonus points for good behaviour, or punishment for bad. What happens to the assets is not affected by who or how the marriage broke down, there are no standard templates for working out who gets what and both parties will need to try to agree between themselves what happens to all of their assets and the family home. As a rule of thumb it’s about what you both need for the future and the welfare of the children, If it ends up in court this is what the legal system will look at.
Here is a quotation to being going on with, PG likes this and wanted to share it with you:
“When dealing with people, let us remember that we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” By Dale Carnegie