Are you contemplating separation or divorce?

Are you contemplating separation or divorce?

As part of our team’s contribution to raising awareness around ‘The Good Divorce Week 2022’ Family Lawyer Zanariah Webster will be joining this week’s Legal Chat Show on Connections Radio.

Zanariah sits down with host Ashley Burgess-Payne to discuss who Resolution are, what ‘The Good Divorce Week 2022’ hopes to achieve and provides an overview of what is involved should you be contemplating or going through a separation or divorce.

Listen to Zanariah’s interview in full below.

Below is a short summary of some of the questions and answers from the above chat between Zanariah Webster and Ashley Burgess-Payne.

What has changed to the new law about no-fault divorce?

Prior to April this year if a person wants to get a divorce they would need to give a reason such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery. It's not very pleasant because you had to say five reasons why that person's behaviour is so unreasonable but you can no longer live with them. The impact it has had on you just creates an extra layer of unpleasantness to proceedings. That all changed and now parties can just say that the marriage is irretrievably broken down and to assist in trying to deal with the financial issues or children issues divorce applications can now either be made solely or they can be made jointly. It makes the system a lot more manageable than it used to.

Is there anything else that has been impacted by the law change?

Many people are under the misconception that if you go through a divorce, it will resolve your finances and you can just walk away and the job's done, but the reality is very different. Divorce is almost a procedural exercise and is actually the most straight-forward part of the separation process. It doesn't actually resolve your financial issues so anyone who has assets such as property, a pension or any sort of asset would need to resolve their financial issues. They should get a financial consent order that sets out who was getting what and prevents them from making any further claims posted. Without this document, even after the divorce order is granted you will always be open to litigation. So if you were to receive an inheritance or even win the lottery and you don't have a consent order, your ex-partner can still go after you.

Why hire a lawyer for a divorce?

People are paying for expertise from lawyers and you're paying for their time. You're paying for knowledge and that's not something that you can get effectively from Google or from speaking to a friend or someone that’s been through a similar experience.

Lawyers know what the courts are looking for and how they are likely to decide on a case. If you're emotionally invested in your separation, you're not going to be able to understand necessarily why the court is saying you can't have all of the assets because you know your ex-partner was mean to you.

Lawyers are there to advise you not only on the next couple of years of your life but how it's going to look like or manifest itself when you reach pensionable age. It is a long-term investment and the only people that can do that are the experts which is why we're here to provide legal advice.

What do the courts look for when it comes to deciding whom the children will live with or what payment should be made to look after the children?

The court’s paramount consideration is the welfare of the children. What we always advise our clients is to try and resolve this away from court proceedings because it is emotionally intense and lengthy. So what lawyers always try to do is to liaise with the other party and just try to come up with solutions that a court would grant in these sorts of cases.

What should people do if they are considering divorce and want it to be amicable?

If parties are able to communicate with one another civilly, then this is the best scenario. There are many clients who are going through a separation and are able to talk to each other because they've just come to the realisation that the marriage is coming to an end but they still communicate about things regarding the children and the finances. If that is not possible then it is encouraged for anyone to seek legal advice at the earliest possible stage.

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