Common Questions from a Stressed Divorce Client

March 15, 2014  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Part of our job as divorce solicitors is to keep things calm. The process of separation can be emotionally intense for everyone involved and it’s often difficult to separate the head from the heart when you’re working through the logistics of your divorce. So that’s where we come in – to soothe your worries and cool down any hot-headed decisions that might not be ideal for your situation… Believe us, we’ve experienced our share of stressed-out situations while working with separating couples, so if you’re feeling the strain and are full to the brim with anxious/paranoid/frazzled questions about your divorce, have a look at our commonly-asked questions below to see if we can answer them for you.

 Q) Why does it take 4-6 months to get divorced? On Eastenders they did it in a week!

 A) Unfortunately, getting divorced in just a week is a work of fiction. The process simply doesn’t allow for a divorce to complete in less than three months, and there are often delays caused by a variety of factors that are out of your control. The duration of your divorce really depends on how quickly you and your ex deal with paperwork. Complex cases and drawn out disagreements can cause delays, as can sorting out difficult financial settlements. Your best bet is to ensure that all the relevant documentation is made available to your solicitor and to agree to work together with your ex to help things run smoothly and quickly.

Q) Why do I have to give you so much information? My ex knows it all.

 A) Your solicitor, your ex’s solicitor and the court need to know all the relevant information in order to process your case and make a decision. Providing your solicitor with accurate records, details and accounts is essential, and can help things move along quickly and smoothly with no problems or delays. It might seem like an inconvenience at the time but we can assure you it’s better to have all the information laid out early on so there’s no chasing up or confusion to deal with later.

Q) I heard that when you get divorced your ex has to buy you a house. When do I get mine?

A) While the court will always be concerned as to where the children (if any) and the parties involved in a separation are to live, there is no right to purchased property. A property can only be bought out of the money you and your spouse have. If there is not enough then even if you are currently an owner occupier, whilst the court would like you to be able to remain where you are or purchase another property, it is not always possible or affordable. If you are currently living in rented accommodation then the court will try to ensure that you remain where you are if you wish so long as it is affordable and your ex is able to find similar accommodation.

 Q) My ex is very clever… I’m worried about the process being fair.

 A) You’re in safe hands! An experienced divorce solicitor will support you through the process of separation, no matter what your ex throws at you. And even if your partner is a genius, they still have to operate within the bounds of the legal divorce process. We’ll be dealing with your ex’s solicitor and resolving any issues as they arise, so try to relax and trust in the knowledge and expertise of your lawyer.

 Q) My husband/wife has hidden money.

 A) We hear this one a lot, and 99 times out of 100 there is no hidden money in existence. More often than not, it’s a case of a couple not being completely open with each other about how and where their finances are spent – or one party not being aware of exactly how high general living costs are and assuming that there should be more left over. Your solicitor can help go through your financial records and determine exactly what’s been going on to help put your mind at rest and work out a way forward for your separation.

Q) Why do I have to pay my own legal costs when I didn’t even want this divorce?

A) Unfair as it may seem, that’s the way the system works, and you are obligated to cover certain costs in order to separate from your partner. Even if your divorce wasn’t your idea. It’s always better to find a way to separate with minimal complications if you want to keep costs down, so mediation, arbitration or collaborative family law may be a good option if you’re worried about money. Not only are these methods less confrontational and take place out of court, they are often faster and cheaper, too.

Q) I am so heartbroken I don’t know what to do.

A) It is hardly surprising that you feel like that. Divorce is the second most stressful life event after death of a loved one. Often although others may see what is happening with your relationship and have been for months, you don’t. Your partner announcing that the relationship is over may come as a huge  shock. Though you may believe that you will never be happy again, all you can do is take one day at a time and look after yourself: take some time off work if you need to, go out for a nice meal with friends and try to take your mind of your situation. You will be surprised how you feel in a week or a month.

Q) Can I list everything my ex has done in the divorce petition so the judge will know how awful s/he is? (Or, on the flipside: How can I defend myself against the things my ex is accusing me of?!)

 A) As hard as it may be, you need to try to separate the raw emotion of your separation with the practical steps of your divorce. Listing every detail of the conflicts between you and your ex simply isn’t going to help your case. Use your solicitor’s advice to put together a comprehensive and realistic plan for your separation and work through each process as if it were a business transaction. Remember your aim: separation isn’t about revenge or getting one up on your ex, it’s about parting ways so that you can move on.

If you have questions about the divorce process – no matter how small or seemingly silly – don’t be afraid to get in touch with the experts at Frances Lindsay & Co for down-to-earth, friendly and practical advice.

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