Raworths LLP
Family Law and Divorce – FAQ Family Law and Divorce – FAQ

Family Law and Divorce – FAQ


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  • What are the grounds for divorce?

    • In fact there is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down”. However, in order to establish this you will need to prove one of the five facts; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years separation with the consent of the other party or five years separation.
  • Can I commence divorce proceedings straight away?

    • Yes, but only if you have been married for at least one year and you can prove that your spouse has either committed adultery or behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her.
  • I want my divorce to be amicable – which is the best way to proceed?

    • The least contentious way is to consider dealing with it on the basis that you have lived apart for at least two years and your spouse consents to a divorce. You may also wish to consider Family Mediation as a way of resolving any issues arising out of the breakdown of the marriage.
  • What is family mediation?

    • Mediation is the process in which the mediator, who is impartial, assists those in the process of separating or divorcing to communicate better with one another to make their own decisions about some or all of the issues relating to or arising from separation or divorce, children, finance or property. This may seem unnecessary but it is a tried, tested and working method of resolving issues on separation and divorce. More details
  • How long will it take before I am divorced?

    • The divorce process through the Court itself may only take 3-4 months provided that everyone involved does what they are required to do without delay. However, often there are issues about financial matters or children which can delay the divorce for a few months or in some cases even longer.
  • Will the Court need to make an Order in relation to the children?

    • No. The Court takes the view that you and your spouse are best placed to decide the arrangements for the future care of any children of the family. The Court will only become involved if you are unable to agree the arrangements for their future care. In that event, the Court can make a Child Arrangements Order specifying with whom the child will live and/or what time the child will spend with the other parent.
  • Will I need to provide information about my financial circumstances?

    • Yes, you will be required to provide full and frank financial disclosure of your financial circumstances together with documentation verifying the information you have provided. If you refuse to provide this information you could be ordered to do so by the Court and penalised by being ordered to pay your spouse’s costs. Also, if you provide false information any order made based on it could be overturned by the court at a later date.
  • Does there have to be a Court hearing to decide the financial issues?

    • No. If you and your spouse reach an agreement, having disclosed to each other your respective financial situations, you can apply for a Consent Order to be made by the Court setting out the terms agreed between you.
  • What is your approach to family matters?

    • We subscribe to the Resolution Code of Practice which provides that:
      • Conduct matters in a constructive and non-confrontational way
      • Avoid use of inflammatory language both written and spoken
      • Retain professional objectivity and respect for everyone involved
      • Take into account the long term consequences of actions and communications as well as the short term implications
      • Encourage clients to put the best interests of the children first
      • Emphasise to clients the importance of being open and honest in all dealings
      • Make clients aware of the benefits of behaving in a civilised way
      • Keep financial and children issues separate
      • Ensure that consideration is given to balancing the benefits of any steps against the likely costs – financial or emotional
      • Inform clients of the options e.g. counselling, family therapy, round table negotiations, mediation, collaborative law and court proceedings
      • Abide by the Resolution Guides to Good Practice
  • Are you specialists in family work?

    • Yes, we have a dedicated Unit of Family law specialists.