Getting a divorce? Get expert advice!
Life Matters for Lymington from Lester Aldridge: Top Tips for Divorcing New Forest Couples
If you are getting a divorce, and you are unsure what to expect or who to turn to, this month's Life Matters for Lymington from Lester Aldridge features Rosemary Sharp from Lester Aldridge’s Family Law team who offers the following advice with ten top tips for divorcing couples in the New Forest.
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Top Tip 1: Get professional advice early
Getting professional advice early on is the best way to prepare for the future and understand what to expect over the coming months. While it can be tempting to speak to friends and family about their divorce experiences, try to remember that there isn’t a one size fits all solution and everyone’s situation is different. What happened in your friend’s divorce may be different to your own, but a professional can give you practical, sensible advice about what you need to do.
Top Tip 2: Don’t worry about asking what you might think are silly questions
There really are no silly questions when it comes to divorce. For many people this will not be something they ever planned on happening and for many it will not be something they have gone through before. So ask whatever is on your mind.
Top Tip 3: Don’t move out of the family home without getting legal advice first
At least before getting legal advice, don't move out of the family home, however difficult things might seem and whatever pressure you feel under. Even though moving out does not legally reduce your interest in the property or your rights, tactically and practically it will often not be the best move and there are many salutory tales on that subject. At the very least don't do anything without getting legal advice - if you're tempted to move out now, call us immediately to get some!
Top Tip 4: Don’t worry if you’re not the main breadwinner
Many people panic that they will be ‘cut off’ or unable to afford to live if they get divorced and they aren’t the main earner in the partnership. But this isn’t the case and the legal process is designed to offer a fair financial settlement to both parties so that everybody can get on with their lives after the divorce.
Top Tip 5: Be conscious of costs
It is important that you use your solicitor and spend your money in the best way. Solicitors are best placed to advise you about legal issues but costs can quickly mount - so use their time wisely and as constructively as you can. Put another way: it is likely that a friend or family member will be better placed to provide a cup of tea and a listening ear to the complaints and grumbles about your spouse!
Top Tip 6: Don’t be afraid to get support
There is a lot of support available to divorcing spouses including counsellors, therapists, and financial advisors. Your solicitor can sign post the most appropriate people to you so that you can build up a support network during this time.
Top Tip 7: Keep an open mind about potential outcomes for the future
You may not know at the beginning of your divorce what the outcome will be. Or you may have a very clear idea about what you want the outcome to be. Keep an open mind about possible options for the future as the proceedings progress, particularly if your spouse’s financial disclosure contains unexpected information.
Top Tip 8: Don’t be tempted to try and hide your assets
The divorce procedure includes financial disclosure and both parties have a legal obligation to provide full and frank information about their finances. The family court also has wide ranging powers when it comes to financial outcomes and takes a very dim view of anyone trying to hide assets in a divorce.
Top Tip 9: Don’t discuss the proceedings or negotiations with third parties or your children
It will be tempting to discuss your divorce with third parties including your children. However, divorce proceedings are generally private which means that neither party should discuss the details of proceedings with anyone other than their legal team – again this is different to getting some tea and sympathy from a friend.
Minor children should also be shielded from the proceedings as much as possible and it is always best if both parties can sit down together with their children at the start of the separation to present a united front and reassure children who may be unsettled by their parents separating.
Top Tip 10: Understand what you’re committing to before you get married
It may seem a bit late to say this now but at least others may learn from your experience!
Put simply: it is important to understand the financial rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.
It is often useful to obtain legal advice about this before marriage, and consider whether a prenuptial agreement would be appropriate. Maybe one to think about if you get married again!
Free initial consultation with a member of the Lester Aldridge Family Law team
If you need further advice on what to expect or how to go about getting a divorce, and also if you would like guidance about prenuptial agreements, please contact Rosemary Sharp who wrote this article, or another member of the Lester Aldridge Family Law team. (If you click the link to this page you'll be able to view details of all the Lester Aldridge Partners in the Family Law team.)
Or simply call 01202 786161 and ask for a member of the Family Law team.
Life Matters for Lymington and the New Forest
For a full list of all the Life Matters articles by Lester Aldrige Solicitors published on Lymington.com so that you can read the ones which interest you, please click this link
About Lester Aldridge
Lester Aldridge Solicitors are based in London and Bournemouth where the office covering the New Forest is situated conveniently close to the main Bournemouth train station. Their specialist teams in the various fields of law will be happy to advise and assist you, starting with a completely free initial consultation during which you can decide whether you feel able to trust them with your confidential information. For more information please click here.