We understand that choosing to divorce can be a very difficult decision, regardless of whether you were married recently or whether you’ve been together for decades.

Just the word ‘divorce’ sounds so severe and final, that choosing to go down this road naturally feels a little scary.

We also understand that right now, you may have a hundred and one questions racing around your head. Some of these might include:

  • Should I divorce or separate?
  • Will I be able to manage financially?
  • Should I give things a bit more time?
  • What should I do that’s best for the children?
  • Can I cope emotionally, if my spouse makes things difficult?
  • Where will we both live?

If you both still have questions like these, it’s important to keep in mind that you have options. For example, you could:

  • Attend marriage counselling to see if there’s any way you can stay together
  • Separate for a while to see how you both feel (this can be a legal arrangement)
  • Attend a mediation session to see if you can work out your differences

Divorce is just one option – but for some people, it is the right option.

Q: Can I get divorced?

If you have been married for at least a year and your relationship has permanently broken down, you can get a divorce.

Before you go into the divorce process, it’s a good idea to try and work out with your spouse arrangements for:

  • The children, if there are any
  • Your finances

Although you don’t strictly have to finalise these issues before proceeding, doing so makes the process go far smoother. It also avoids the need for court hearings.

If there are substantial disagreements, mediation can help. Although this can seem like just another expense, it can save a very protracted divorce where lawyers run up hundreds or thousands of pounds in legal bills writing to each other to try and reach an agreement. If you both feel very bitter towards each other, try to put this aside for a short time and reach an agreement. If there is one thing you will both likely agree on, it is that the legal expenses for both of you should be as small as possible.

Q: Do I need a solicitor?

Although it’s possible to do the legal work yourself, there are aspects of divorce that can be complex. You can either use a solicitor for the whole process, or get help just for the parts you need. For example, many people choose to use a solicitor to prepare the divorce petition, finalise the consent order (recording the agreed financial arrangements) and finalise any orders relating to the children.

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