Saturday, November 17, 2018
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1.What are the grounds for divorce?

You must show the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there are 5 ways to prove this:

a)Unreasonable behaviour
b)Adultery
c)2 years separation with consent
d)5 years separation
e)Desertion

2.Can I have a ‘quickie’ divorce?

The ‘quickie’ divorce is a media myth.  The procedure for obtaining a divorce is the same, regardless of the ground that you proceed on.  The speed of the divorce depends upon whether there are  issues relating to your children of finances that need to be resolved.

3.How long does it take for a divorce?

The average, straightforward divorce takes between 4 to 6 months.  However, if there are financial issues to resolve, it is likely this will take longer.

4.How long does it take for a divorce if there are financial matters to resolve?

This depends on how the finance can be resolved.  If you are in agreement, the finances may be resolved within the 4 to 6 months of the divorce proceedings.  If you go to mediation, the whole process may take between 6 to 8 months.  If you need the court to help to resolve matters, it could take 18 months to 2 years to get to a final hearing and final outcome.

5.Who pays the costs?

At our first meeting we will determine whether you are eligible for public funding.  If you are, you will be referred to firm of solicitors local to you that have a public funding contract.  Otherwise, the starting point is that each party is responsible for their own costs.

6.I have no income/assets of my own, how will I manage if we separate?

After there has been financial disclosure, we will mediate, negotiate or ask the court to help with how to fairly divide your assets.  You may be eligible for spousal periodical payments.

7.Do I lose any rights to my house if I leave?

No.  We can take steps to protect your interest in your house if it is not in your name.  If it is in your sole name or joint names, you are protected.

8.What about child maintenance?

This is currently dealt with through the CSA, and in the future, CMEC.  At present, if your children do not live with you , the CSA will assess you to pay 15% of your net income for 1 child, 20% for 2 children and 25% for 3 or more. This figure is then reduced to take into account the number of overnight stays your children have with you and any other children you are responsible for or have in your household.

9.What are my rights to see my children?

It is a child’s right to know both parents, as long as there is no risk of harm to them.

10.Can I take my children abroad to live with me?

Yes, with the agreement of the other parent , if they have parental responsibility, or with an order of the court.

11.Can I force my husband/wife/partner out of the house?

If there has been domestic abuse, it may be possible to obtain an order under the Family Law Act to prevent your husband/wife/partner from returning to the house.  It will depend upon the circumstances of the case.

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