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6 things you may not know about the divorce and dissolution process

Published on 14 December 2021 | Modified on 16 January 2023

Written by Lana Jones

Divorce & Family

Two diverse businessmen sitting together in a modern office discussing paperwork and working on a laptop

Divorce is understandably a very stressful time, and the process can be highly unpredictable. Whilst it isn’t realistic for you to have an in-depth knowledge of divorce law, understanding key points on how the process works will help you significantly.

Often when we speak to clients, we realise that there are a number of things that they are unaware of when it comes to divorce. Understanding the facts behind these common misconceptions can prepare you for what to expect during the process, so we have compiled a list of 6 things you may not know (but definitely should know) about divorce.

The divorce process

Courts may not take into account a pre-nuptial agreement

Pre-nuptial agreements are a great way for a marrying couple to outline how assets will be divided in the event they were to separate; however, they are not a legally binding document in the eyes of the court. Despite this, they are considered to be a compelling factor for a court to take into account during proceedings (an agreement prepared by a qualified solicitor, where both parties have had independent representation and have been open and transparent and not subject to any duress or time pressure, is likely to carry more weight with the court).

Attending at court is not always a necessity

Spouses will not be required to attend a court hearing when divorcing, the entire process (including any financial agreement) can all by sent to the court for approval. This, however, is only possible if agreements are reached ‘by consent’ between the divorcing parties, meaning effective communication is key to avoiding a court hearing.

Your spouse can’t take all your money

No matter how tumultuous a relationship was, or who is held at fault for the marriage breakdown. the court’s objective when it comes to finances is to ensure that both parties financial needs are met and that the agreement is fair to both parties.

From April 2022 you no longer need to allege blame

Divorce law has, for many years, come under fire for forcing a divorcing couple to place blame on one party. For legal professionals who encourage an amicable approach to the process, this dated stipulation in divorce law goes entirely against modern practices. As a result of this, from April 2022, it will no longer be a requirement for couples to ‘blame’ the other for their marriage breakdown.

You can’t file for divorce until 12 months of marriage

A couple must be married for more than 12 months before they are able to apply for divorce in England and Wales. If you wish to end your marriage prior to this 12 months, you can discuss with your solicitor whether your marriage can be annulled, or you can consider applying for judicial separation.

There’s no way of speeding up the divorce process

Sadly, there is nothing you can do to speed up the divorce process, even if you and your spouse are amicable and are in agreement in all areas of your separation (i.e. finances, child arrangements, etc.). Typically, from filing your initial petition through the receiving your Decree Absolut, the process can take between six to eight months, longer if there are areas under negotiation.

Ultimately, when it comes to divorce, it is crucial that you seek the support of a family law professional. The experts here at Poole Alcock are highly experienced in guiding our clients through the entire divorce and dissolution process, helping to minimise stress and achieve the best outcome for both parties.

If you would like to learn more about our divorce services, contact our team today.

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