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No Fault Divorce: When Should I get Divorced?

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Divorce proceedings, and whether you should get divorced now, is in the news because of the publicity about the progress of no fault divorce legislation through parliament. In this blog we look at the question ‘’when should I get divorced?’’

London divorce solicitors can't tell you when you should get divorced but they can give you divorce guidance on the best time to do so taking into account your particular personal and financial circumstances.

London divorce solicitors

The London divorce team at OTS Solicitors can advise on the timing of divorce proceedings and how to best reach a financial settlement and child custody agreement. For divorce, financial settlement or family law advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form  to arrange a Skype, video conference or telephone appointment.

No fault divorce 

The House of Commons has in recent weeks seen the passage of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill through its parliamentary stages. Once the Act receives royal assent and is brought into force husbands and wives will be able to apply for a no fault divorce by saying that their marriage has broken down irretrievably but without having to blame the other.

The new law will also mean that:

  • A divorcing couple must wait a total of six months from the date of the divorce  application before the divorce can be made final with the pronouncement of decree absolute
  • A husband and wife will have the option of making a joint application for a divorce. At the moment either the husband or wife must petition for divorce and the other spouse has to respond to the divorce petition.

The indications are that the start of the first no fault divorces may be possible in Autumn 2021, over twelve months away.

Should I wait for a no fault divorce

With all the news in the media about the implementation of no fault divorce reform those who currently wish to divorce are wondering if they should wait and get divorced in 2021. London divorce solicitors say that if you wait then assuming that the legislation is enacted within the anticipated timescale (and these things have a habit of changing) the earliest you could get divorced is April 2022. That is a long time to wait in limbo.

Accordingly the best advice for most separating couples is that there is no need to wait for the no fault divorce legislation and 2022.

You can already get divorced through a ‘no fault’ divorce petition if you have been separated for two years and your husband or wife agrees to the divorce. You don’t necessarily have to have lived in separate households during the two years to secure a divorce provided that you can say that you have lived ‘separate and apart’. If you need legal advice about whether your separation fulfils the criteria for having lived separate and apart call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123.

If you haven’t been separated for two years you can still get divorced now if either you or your spouse has committed adultery or behaved unreasonably. Starting divorce proceedings on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour doesn’t mean that your divorce proceedings have to be acrimonious. You can still achieve an agreed divorce within four to six months of starting the divorce proceedings and you don’t have to name any third parties to secure a divorce.

Taking legal advice on when to get divorced

It is best to take legal advice if you are contemplating a separation or divorce and you are uncertain about when to get divorced and if you have the grounds for divorce.

Depending on your personal and other circumstances it may be best to wait. For example:

  • The tax year of your separation can have an impact on tax payable as part of any financial settlement
  • The date of your separation can have an impact if you are not a British citizen or someone with settled status in the UK as your immigration status will need to be resolved after your divorce.

In other scenarios it may be best to start divorce proceedings as soon as possible. For example:

  • You are at risk of domestic violence or being subjected to financial controls or other forms of psychological abuse
  • Your husband or wife is at risk of being made bankrupt
  • Your husband or wife is disposing of assets
  • Your husband or wife is refusing to pay you spousal maintenance or won't agree to put the family home on the market for sale
  • Your spouse is nearing retirement age and you are worried that they will take their pension and spend it leaving nothing to share with you
  • You are concerned that your husband or wife could start divorce proceedings overseas and that an overseas financial settlement would not be advantageous to you
  • You are concerned that there may be a severe recession and that the value of assets will fall or that it won't be easy to sell the family home or the family business if you wait
  • You want to remarry or you want to start dating but don’t want to start doing so until you are divorced
  • Your children think that you are going to get back together because although you are separated you haven’t started divorce proceedings so the children have false hope that things will work out.

There are lots of other reasons why it is a good idea to start divorce proceedings now, rather than wait, provided that you are of the view that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

London divorce solicitors

The specialist family lawyers at OTS Solicitors can help you with advice on your separation or divorce and assist with sorting out your  financial settlement and financial court order, child arrangements order or advise on any other aspect of family law . Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. We will set up a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment for you with a friendly and experienced family law solicitor.

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