Recent statistics show that divorce rates are at their lowest in 40 years. Whilst this may well indicate that couples are happier in their marriages, it may also be due to a different reason. Divorce has been rated the second most stressful event someone can go through in their life. The physical and emotional separation combined with dealing with court papers, trying to resolve finances and making arrangements for children can often be too much for many people to face. The support of an empathetic and experienced solicitor can be invaluable when going through a divorce.
Many people, for numerous reasons, are unsure as to whether they have the grounds to apply for a divorce, and sometimes do not have the confidence to ask. In order to successfully petition for divorce, you must prove to the Court that your marriage has broken down, and there is no going back. This must be supported by one of five facts:
- Your spouse has committed adultery
- Your spouse has behaved so unreasonably that you can no longer bear to live with them. This can be due to numerous reasons, but could include abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, verbal or financial, or your spouse doing something in the house which is not acceptable, such as drug-taking or excessive drinking;
- Your spouse has deserted you;
- Yourself and your spouse have lived apart for more than two years and your spouse consents to the divorce. It may well be that you both still live in the same house, but have led separate lives for the last two years;
- Yourself and your spouse have lived apart for more than five years. You do not require the consent of your spouse in this instance.
Once you have provided a reason for the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage, we are then able to draft the divorce petition on your behalf, and deal with the process until the conclusion when the court grants the divorce absolute which signifies the end of your marriage.
For many people, divorce and finances go hand in hand, and we would always advise that finances be resolved prior to finalising the divorce. We are more than happy to make a referral to mediation on your behalf to try to resolve finances in an attempt to avoid costly litigation. Should this not be successful, we also offer a fixed fee service in respect of dealing with financial matters.
Another stressful element for many people when issuing divorce proceedings is the cost. At Levins we deal with divorce proceedings on a fixed fee basis. There are therefore no surprise bills at the end of the case, and should you require additional advice in respect of matters outside of the divorce proceedings, we are happy to offer additional fixed fee services in respect of finances and childcare matters. If you are on a low income you may be entitled to a reduction in the court fees. Legal Aid is also available if you have been the victim of domestic abuse, and have the necessary evidence as proof. Please contact us in order for us to discuss this further and conduct an eligibility calculation.
Whilst divorce can be an extremely daunting process, we are proud to be able to make the experience a little less stressful for our clients. If you are considering issuing divorce proceedings, or have been served with divorce papers and would like some advice, please call Levins Solicitors on 0151 480 5777 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.