Any solicitor will always tell you to stay put. Not because it makes any financial difference to the eventual financial settlement, but quite simply because if you move out, you lose an element of control over what happens with the house.
Provided that at least one of the people wishing to get divorced lives in England, then getting divorced in England (& Wales) is infinitely a do-it-yourself job. (I am not familiar with the system in Scotland)
Save yourself a whole load of money: the government website have a do-it-yourself guide
Although you can agree finances between you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order
In the United Kingdom, we do not have “irreconcilable differences”. That is a thing in the United States for the time being at least. The rules are changing here shortly to get rid of the following 5 grounds of divorce and to get rid of the fault issue but that has yet to be enacted. To be honest, in my opinion, it’s going to make very little difference because the big arguments are over finance and children not the actual divorce itself.
It doesn’t matter who divorces who or why, the financial issues are exactly the same. The court has not apportioned blame with regard to the division of marital finances for many years.
Grounds for getting divorced are:
1 The couple have lived part 2 years or more but less than 5 years and they both consent to the divorce.
2 The couple have lived apart for 5 years or more, regardless of whether they both consent or not.
3 Desertion. Not common.
4 Adultery. Very difficult to prove unless there is unequivocal evidence or an admission.
5 Unreasonable behaviour. Most common and relatively easily to put together a petition on these grounds. For example:
A spouse wants an unreasonable amount of sex/never once it.
Lack of personal hygiene/obsessive personal hygiene.
Obsessively tidy/extremely messy and untidy.
Gambles to excess/it’s tightfisted with money.
Never interacts with spouse or children/obsessive with children.
Violent or bullying or intimidating.
Lots of grounds.
Please note that a legal separation is not the first step or precursor to a divorce. It is virtually the same process but it doesn't dissolve the marriage. However it draws a line under the relationship formally. The difference between a legal separation and divorce is basically that you cannot get remarried again. The reason you would have a legal separation, rather than a divorce is you can get divorced, for religious reasons for example.
There are no children to worry about.
The starting point for the division of marital finances is 50-50 and it is then adjusted up or down, one way or the other, in favour of one partner or the other depending on what the individuals put in at outset, the length of marriage and the time together before marriage, the needs of the individuals after the divorce, what savings, assets, pensions et cetera there are and also the ability of each person to work after the breakup.
The time which a couple are together before they get married will be taken into account because it would be grossly unfair if someone had been together for 30 years and then split up after being married for 12 months to have the finances treated in the same way as a couple who had got married not long after they met and were then divorcing after just 12 months.
It’s largely a mathematical thing but does look at needs after divorce.
Even if everything is being divided down the middle, it’s not really a case of dividing it down the middle, all the assets wouldn’t be split 50-50 but the bulk would be 50-50 and therefore one person may keep the house and the other for example could have the savings and the pensions.
In your case, unless there is a compelling reason otherwise, it would probably be 50-50.
I am glad to help.
Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
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I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.
If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.
I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.
That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.