Of UK marriages end in divorce.
1. A divorce is never cheap or quick
You may see ‘divorce in weeks’ or ‘quick divorce for £30’ as you’ve been searching around the internet. You may be thinking a quick divorce for just £30 is too good to be true, and you’d be right.
When you see these adverts, what you get for this price is usually the drafting of a divorce petition. In short, a divorce petition is a legal document that is sent to your partner to notify them that you want a divorce. A divorce petition does not mean you’re divorced.
To become divorced, you will need to complete all five of the following stages:
- The petition
- The response
- Applying for decree nisi
- Decree nisi & costs order
- pronouncement of decree absolute
Remember that the financial settlement and child settlement are separate proceedings running parallel to the divorce proceedings. Due to the finances and children being separate proceedings, they both entail independent costs to the divorce proceedings.
If you and your partner can’t agree to the financial and child settlement, it will result in much higher legal costs as you will need solicitors and the courts’ assistance. Therefore, it’s essential to keep an open mind. For example, even small arguments over finances can result in days in court at a significant expense, which is dwindling the very assets you’re arguing over.
To give you an idea of the cost and time-frame of divorce, a straightforward divorce between a couple who has no complications with children or the financial settlement will cost around £5,000-£10,000 and take 4-6 months.
2. Making arrangements outside of court can cause future problems
If you are considering getting a divorce or going through the divorce process, you have likely heard that informal agreements over the financial and child settlement will save a lot of time and money. An informal agreement is where a husband and wife agree outside of court. This statement may be correct in the short term, but this isn’t necessarily the case in the longer term.
An informal agreement over the finances and children will mean the agreement isn’t legally binding. For example, in an informal child arrangement, if one party later decides they don’t want to abide by the agreement, there’s no legal enforcement. These instances cause severe stress and heavy financial burdens down the line. Furthermore, you will need to bring the matter to court and gain a formal (enforceable) agreement.