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I’m divorced. Can I see my children during Lockdown?

I’m divorced. Can I see my children during Lockdown?

I'm divorced. Can I see my children during Lockdown? On 5 January 2021, the UK entered the third national lockdown - in place until at least mid-February.  This short guide seeks to explain the rules for families co-parenting their children and answer...

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Divorce Planning – Questions

Q: How much does a divorce cost?

A: The cost will depend on your circumstances. In every case a £550 divorce application fee is payable to the Court. If both partners agree and there are no children or joint assets, we recommend our quick divorce for £750 (+VAT) – payment plans are available. We know there are cheaper services online. But unlike many of those companies, our fee includes:

  • Your own legal team. Divorce isn’t easy. You’ll have your own solicitor to ask questions and receive updates. 
  • Less stress – don’t worry about finding the right forms. Once we obtain the details of your case, we’ll complete, check and submit all of the divorce paperwork for you.
  • No court appearances – we file all court applications and attend any court appearances for you.
  • Save money! Getting it right the first time saves you time and money in the long run.

Please note: this service does not include complex or contested divorces, any dealings relating to children or financial issues.

Q: How much does a divorce cost?

A: The cost will depend on your circumstances. In every case a £550 divorce application fee is payable to the Court. If both partners agree and there are no children or joint assets, we recommend our quick divorce for £750 (+VAT) – payment plans are available. We know there are cheaper services online. But unlike many of those companies, our fee includes:

  • Your own legal team. Divorce isn’t easy. You’ll have your own solicitor to ask questions and receive updates. 
  • Less stress – don’t worry about finding the right forms. Once we obtain the details of your case, we’ll complete, check and submit all of the divorce paperwork for you.
  • No court appearances – we file all court applications and attend any court appearances for you.
  • Save money! Getting it right the first time saves you time and money in the long run.

Please note: this service does not include complex or contested divorces, any dealings relating to children or financial issues.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a divorce?

A: Getting a divorce can take longer than people think. How long it takes will depend on the court’s backlog and the details of your case. In some cases, it can take 4-6 months, in other cases it can take longer. If you both agree to the divorce and there are no children or shared assets (e.g. property or finances) the divorce process is quicker. It can be longer if you have to agree on finances or children. With trained negotiators, law firms can help you resolve any disagreements.

Q: What are the grounds for divorce?

A: To obtain a divorce in English law, you will need to prove ‘irretrievable breakdown of your marriage’ (that your relationship cannot be saved), giving one of the following 5 reasons (also known as ‘facts):

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable Behaviour
  • Desertion
  • 2 Years of Separation (you can only use this if you both agree to the divorce in writing)
  • 5 Years of Separation
Q: I'm ready to file for a divorce. Now what?

A: Once you’ve made the decision to file for divorce, we’re here to guide you through the process.

  1. Advice: We recommend you start by booking our free 15 minute advice call. You can explain your situation in confidence to our legal team, and we‘ll give you a better idea of your options, costs and next steps. There’s no obligation to use SKB Law after the call. 
  2. Go with SKB Law: If you do choose SKB Law (yes, please), we’ll arrange an appointment with our team to go over the details of your case. You’ll need to complete our Introductory paperwork and agree payment terms. With our online platforms, it’s your choice to receive documents by email or post. 
  3. Taking Action: We get working on your case. Our team will review your case and prepare all of the paperwork for you to review. We’ll speak with any other parties involved (e.g. your spouse’s solicitor) and then submit all of the paperwork on your behalf. 
  4. Stay Updated: Throughout your case, we’ll keep you updated about what’s happening and if we need any additional information from you

It’s Done: Once you’ve obtained your Decree Absolute or Religious Divorce, we’ll make sure you have final copies of any paperwork. We also keep copies in our archives. 

Q: What's the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce?

A: there are two people involved in a divorce:

  • The petitioner –  the person who starts (files) the divorce paperwork;
  • The respondent – the person who receives the divorce application;

When the respondent receives the divorce application, the divorce application includes a question which asks whether they ‘contest’ the divorce. In other words, do they agree with the reasons provided for the divorce (the 5 reasons: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or separation). 

If the respondent agrees with the reasons provided, it is an uncontested divorce. If the respondent does not agree with the reason stated on the divorce application, it becomes a contested divorce.

There are a number of reasons why someone may contest a divorce – they may disagree about the claim of adultery, or delay the case. Alternatively, they want to submit a cross-petition (when they file their own divorce application). It’s important to know that contesting a divorce is unlikely to stop it from going through. 

Q: Can I file for divorce without my marriage or nikah certificate?

A: In order to obtain a divorce in England & Wales, you must provide the Court with your original marriage certificate when you file your divorce application. If your marriage certificate is not in your possession, you will need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate. 

 

  • You can contact your local council to obtain a copy – in many cases you request a copy via their website;

Or you can register on the General Register Office (GRO) website to get a copy of a marriage or civil partnership certificate in England and Wales.

Q: What if I don’t know where my spouse lives?

A: Generally, your spouse will either need to sign the divorce documents or be “served”.

Q: We have children, what do we need to do?

A: Agreeing on child arrangements as early on as possible will make the divorce process quicker, cheaper and importantly, in the best interests of your children. We’ve helped many parents find a practical solution on a range of issues relating to children such as where the children will live, how much time they’ll spend with each parent or how you’ll financially support your children. If you are unable to agree on these issues, there are several options available. Book our free 15 minute advice call to explain your situation and we can guide you on options, next steps and costs.

Q: Can you help me if I want to stay in the family home?

Yes. Leaving your family home isn’t always the right decision when you decide to divorce.  It’s important to resolve these issues as part of your divorce, as you may not be able to make future claims after your divorce is finalised. Our team can advise on asset valuation and submitting a claim. 

Q: Can you help me if I need to divide our finances and inheritance?

Yes. It’s important to resolve these issues as part of your divorce, as you may not be able to make future claims after your divorce is finalised. Our team can advise on asset valuation and submitting a claim.

Q: What documents will I need to provide you?

We’ll need your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not written in English, we will need a translation (we can help). As part of your Personal Divorce Plan, we’ll prepare a list of documents that will be useful in your case. An example of items we have requested in other cases include: ID documents, tax returns, payslips, property deeds or copies of agreements such as prenups or parenting plans.

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