Divorce can seem like a daunting and stressful process. On the aisle, you smiled at your partner and promised them you would live together until the end. Later on in your marriage, you realise that both you and your partner are incompatible or do not see eye to eye. When you finally consider divorce, you may not even know how to go about it. You are hopefully going to learn to conduct the divorce process such that there are no illegalities or bad blood between the divorcees. Here are the steps below.
Filing a Divorce Petition
At least one spouse must visit the court and file a legal petition asking it to terminate their marriage. When filing for divorce, the spouse must indicate reasons for their divorce and acknowledge in writing that they meet their country's requirements for divorce. Ensure your reasons for divorce are legal grounds for divorce. Divorcing a spouse because your marriage is boring is not one of them. Legal grounds for divorce include desertion, adultery and physical violence.
Next, you will file another document called divorce summons. Divorce summons informs your spouse that the divorce process has begun. The petitioner is thus responsible for all the filing work.
You can also file for divorce online but the process tends to be very tedious. There are many forms to fill and the process starts to feel like a lengthy job application.
Serving your Spouse
After filling in the divorce forms, you will then print each copy and give them to your spouse. Ensure your spouse has consented to the divorce before serving them the divorce files. The process is awkward enough for the divorcing spouses, so could you imagine if your partner was not privy to the divorce.
Wait for the Court's Response
After your spouse has looked through the documents, they will then be asked to fill some additional paperwork. The paperwork affirms their consent to the process. The process becomes simpler when both spouses mutually agree to the process as opposed to one whereby the petitioner cites the wrongs done by their partner leading to the divorce. The complainant will need to provide evidence to the court for further investigation. A spouse accused of adultery may deliberately stall the divorce process by lying they did not commit the act. In such a case, the court's response will be very long.
The divorce process requires you to hire a divorce solicitor since they will help you negotiate some of the deals with your spouse. Essentially, they are legal advisors. Some of the common deals negotiated in court include child custody, child support and property division. If the spouses can agree on a settlement, then they may save some costs needed to hire a divorce solicitor. Spouses only hire an attorney when they do not see eye to eye, so the attorney steps in to help them agree with the deals.
In cases of child custody, the court may deprive the parent of this duty if they are found to be insane or abusive. If the parents are both sane, the court will order the parents to take turns visiting their child or children.
As for property distribution, the court will allocate the property based on the prenuptial contracts they earlier signed. Signing such a contract ensures that no spouse is short-changed in the event they lose out on millions of pounds in the process. Prenuptial agreements ensure that each spouse leaves with the property they quoted in the contract. Ideally, this step should be the last once the spouses successfully agree to the divorce settlements.
Should the couples fail to agree on the divorce terms, they will be forced to go to court for a trial. It is advisable not to let your disagreements with your spouse lead you here. There is a chance the judge will erroneously allow a child to live with an abusive parent. Remember, the judge does not know the parents personally even as they strive to make the correct judgement. Trials are time-consuming and costly, and this is why you want to avoid trials.