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Has your marriage broken down but you are not in the position to attend Court to resolve the associated matters? You may feel that Court is the only option, however below we explain some alternatives for you to consider.
All parties should attempt negotiation through solicitors before they apply to the Court. This can be an effective way of reaching a settlement, quickly and amicably as Court proceedings can take some time to conclude. If an agreement can be reached, it can be formalised with a document called a Consent Order. This document will be sent to the Court for their approval, but do not worry, this is a largely paper based process and you should not need to attend Court.
In mediation, a neutral party works with both yourself and your partner to help you reach an agreement amicably. You can obtain advice from a solicitor throughout and if the mediation is unsuccessful; the mediator can provide you with a form that shows you have attempted mediation, which is necessary to take the financial matters to Court.
The collaborative process allows for parties to work together, with their lawyers to come to an agreement that will meet the needs of the family, without attending Court. At the beginning of the process, both parties and their lawyers will sign an agreement to not take the matters to Court during the collaboration process. If Court proceedings do become necessary, both parties will need new legal advisers.
An informal separation agreement allows you and your partner to come to an agreement in respect of your finances, without attending Court. However, you do remain legally married and if you decide later that you are ready to engage in the divorce process, you will still need to address finances formally at that stage.
Your final option is to do nothing. However this is not advised as your rights and responsibilities as a married person will not change and there are risks associated with continuing to be financially tied to your estranged spouse.
If your marriage has broken down you should contact us to talk to one of our specialist family lawyers, who can talk through the options and next steps in detail.
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