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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33817
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My wife and I decided to divorce and we have agreed between

Resolved Question:

My wife and I decided to divorce and we have agreed between ourselves all aspects including custody, finance, visitation etc... What do we need to do to legalise this so that no one party goes back on the agreement? we want to avoid the lengthy and costly court proceedings which will affect the children.


 


Please advise.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you intend to have an immediate divorce and what arrangements have you made?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, an immediate divorce - we agreed that i would take custody of the children - where she has full visitation rights on weekends and weekdays ; but weekends to be the primary visitation time, holidays to be agreed in advance between both of us. In return she gets a piece of land i had purchased overseas with a current value of £400k (freehold all paid for) - she lets go of the family house here in england ( still mortgage remaining from original £285k around £240k ) and it goes to me. Also, i support her in renting an accomodation and her exams (shes a pharmacist) until she either finds a job or gets remarried.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, an immediate divorce - we agreed that i would take custody of the children - where she has full visitation rights on weekends and weekdays ; but weekends to be the primary visitation time, holidays to be agreed in advance between both of us. In return she gets a piece of land i had purchased overseas with a current value of £400k (freehold all paid for) - she lets go of the family house here in england ( still mortgage remaining from original £285k around £240k ) and it goes to me. Also, i support her in renting an accomodation and her exams (shes a pharmacist) until she either finds a job or gets remarried.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
No answer given yet by expert
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old are the children and who has the day to day care of the children at the moment
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

eldest is 8.5 yrs old, youngest is 5 years old - we both take care of the children.


However, my wife last evening has asked me to expedite finding a studio flat (and this is in her own words "as far away from Reading as possible") for an initial 6 months.


The reason she asked me to search is that I will be paying for her rental studio flat, and she wants it done quickly as she is contemplating leaving the country to Egypt.


Right now aside from this I'm looking for a baby sitter who would take care of the children from the moment they leave school "3:15" until I return from work "4:30" after which I will manage their cooking, studying and generally look after them...we've been sharing that already so it's nothing I haven't tried or done before.


I may ask my mother or sister to stay with us o give the children some additional comfort, but I'm leaving that now until I see how things progress.


 


Can you please advise on the original question ?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Within the divorce proceedings you need to agree a Financial Court Order which will be sealed by the court, setting out the financial agreement that has been made.
Once this has been sealed by the court then no further claims can be made by either of you against the other
So far as the arrangements for children are concerned you can complete a Parenting Plan - details here
http://www.parentingplan.co.uk/
However do be aware that it is understood and accepted that as children grow and change so do their needs - and this may mean changes to the original agreement
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you - I have a few questions in relation to the above:


 


1) how do I initiate a financial court order?


 


2) do they normally accept what is agreed between both parties?


 


3) I understand about the children,and it makes sense, in the end if they grow older and decide that they want to live with their mum and she asks for it as well - then I will not prevent them from that of course, but how do I put that as an agreement ? or is it usually understood that when children grow their needs change?


 


4) The main question is if we agree on the parenting plan, can either party renege on that agreement and drag the other through courts to get the children? I really want to avoid putting the children through any court proceedings and try and get everything agreed beforehand as much as possible of course ?


 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

may I also add - that after giving the parentingplan website a quick look , it is not a legally binding agreement; like I said we have and are happy with our own arrangements, what we want is to formalise it, is there a process like the one you suggested for finance that would seal parental responsibility and custody agreements etc... ?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
1. Once the Decree nisi has been granted a Solicitor can prepare a Consent order for you both to sign for submission to the court
2. The court will accept it provided it is not obviously unfair
3. It does not need to form part of the agreement
4. I am afraid no matter what is put in place either of you can at any time make a further application to the court so unless there is currently a dispute then there is no point in obtaining a Consent Order dealing with where the children live
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So if I understand this correctly - as there is no dispute it is sufficient to just detail our plans as you suggested; and if there is any dispute in the future then the plan will be taken into account but ultimately the children's best interest will be the major deciding factor ?


 


In regards to (1) is there no statement where both parties simply want to seperate? there is no adultery, or unreasonable behaviour that either of us want on the record ?


 


In regards to (2) If both parties are happy with the agreement, even if it is unfair to me - for the sake of argument - why would the court object ? if I insist on the terms both parties agreed on can the court force an arrangement neither of us are happy with ?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is absolutely correct.
With regard to the finances the only way of creating a binding agreement is by way of a Consent order.
If you do not wish to start divorce proceedings yet then you will have to settle for a Separation Agreement - which can be turned into a Court Order when there is eventually a divorce
The court will refuse to endorse an Order which is manifestly unfair.
It doe snot mean that you cannot share the assets in that way - just that there cannot be an Order
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for clarifying - just two more questions ! sorry if I want to get this crystal clear first.


 


1) We do want a divorce, but the reasons just don't apply - meaning, we just want to divorce and there is no adultery and no unreasonable behaviour we want on record - how do we go about that, the only reasons available on https://www.gov.uk/divorce/apply-for-decree-nisi are those...or am I missing something?


 


2) Fair enough in regards XXXXX XXXXX fairness - how do we know what a court will deem fair and what it will deem unfair?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
1. You will either have to wait two years for a divorce - or one of you will have to divorce the other for Unreasonable Behaviour. Since none of us are perfect and the allegations do not have to be appalling it should be possible to find four or five reasons
2. The starting point for division of the assets is 50/50 so any departure from that needs to be justified. In your case there should be no problem based on what you have told me
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK - got that....


 


Now to go ahead, I have to download the decree nisi form send it to court on the basis that she doesn't want to defend it - do I need to involve a solicitor? what about my ex does she need to involve one, or is it sufficient that once receives the document she signs it and we're done?


 


To finalise the divorce, I got the below from the government's website:


Do they have to see the plan that you advised me to form up? and us listing who has custody ?


 


"


Getting the decree absolute


 


The court will check that:
arrangements for children aren’t a reason to delay the divorce
time limits have been met
there are no other reasons not to grant the divorce
The court will then send you both a decree absolute.
Once you get the decree absolute, you are divorced, no longer married and free to marry again if you wish."

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You have to start by issuing a Divorce Petition and only when that has been issued, and served on your wife and the Petition acknowledged can you apply for the Decree nisi
You may find it easier to instruct a solicitor
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33817
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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