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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26822
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I just need advice please regarding divorce proceedings. I

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Good morning. I just need advice please regarding divorce proceedings. I am on Universal Credit and currently also under the care of DAP. I understand rulings have changed on 6th April regarding a no fault divorce, am I able to do this online or would I need a solicitor - something that I would struggle with the costs.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in Hull, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I haven't taken any steps in regards ***** ***** divorce, enquired with womens aid.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I'm not sure what else is needed at this point. I would just like the best advice on the easiest and cheapest way to get divorced (from someone who can be extreemly awkward).

Hello. My name is***** you for the question.

It is my pleasure to assist you today.

I have been in the legal profession, in High Street practice, for almost 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Although I am shown as online, I may be dealing with other people, on the telephone, or typing.

Please be assured that you will receive an email once I have written a reply.

Just Answer is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes it may be longer, even hours or overnight.

I apologise in advance if you suffer a delay.

Kind regards.

For background - how long were you together and married in total?
any children under 18?

mortgaged property? savings/pensions?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Together for around 15 years, married 2011. 2 children aged 9 and 4.
I bought him out of our house in Feb 2021 so it's solely in my name. He's bought his own house.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Mortgaged property for me and mortgaged property for him.
No savings either side. Very small pensions (only started within the last couple of years). I don't want to claim anything from him I just want to be divorced and cut of any financial ties etc.

From 6 April 2022, in the UK we now have “no fault” divorce where there is no need to apportion blame.

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

https://www.gov.uk/divorce

Although you can agree finances between you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order

https://www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends

And if have children under 18, and you cannot agree who they live with and who sees who and when, then you need a child arrangement order (which includes Specific Issue Orders:

To confirm that something can happen

and a Prohibited Steps Orders

To stop something happening

https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce

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.

The only grounds for getting divorced used to be (all now changed of course)

1 Living apart from 2 years if they both agree.

2 living apart the 5 years regardless of consent.

3 Desertion

4 Adultery.

5 Unreasonable behaviour.

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.

From 6 April, the divorce petition form D8 has changed and here it is:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064336/D8_0422_save.pdf

It is the same form to dissolve a civil partnership.

You need to bear in mind that this process is brand-new for the time being and were not certain how it’s going to work.

The majority of the form is just filling in personal details and as they are the details that you would have to give to a solicitor, to be frank, you may as well complete the form yourself and save a whole load of money.

There is nothing difficult in the form and although it’s 20 pages, it is not crammed with questions. You can complete it in about 15 minutes.

At present to the court fee is GBP595.

The full list of court fees are here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50

there is very little legal aid available now except in very few categories but if you are on benefits or low-income, you may get help with or not have to pay the fees. Details are here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-help-with-court-and-tribunal-fees

And the fee remission is referred to on page 19 of the form.

Be careful with the addresses. If you are not having fee remission goes to the Bury St Edmunds address along with the cheque, on the back page of the form.

If you are applying for fee remission goes to the Harlow address.

At least, that’s how I interpret page 20. It remains to be seen because that page is extremely vague

An application for a financial order goes to your local court.

The full list of court fees are here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50

there is very little legal aid available now except in very few categories but if you are on benefits or low-income, you may get help with or not have to pay the fees. Details are here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-help-with-court-and-tribunal-fees

So if you are on benefits you could get the divorce for nothing provided you DIY.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Stuart, thank you this information is very useful. I am on universal credit and also under the care of victim support and the case has gone to DAP twice. Do I apply for the financial order separately?

Remember that there are 3 parts to every divorce.

1 The divorce itself

2 Finances

3 Children

1 is relatively straightforward and infinitely a DIY job and you can save a whole load of money by doing just that. Even if solicitors are involved, the bill shouldn’t be more than a couple of grand although the court fee alone is GBP550.

It is arguing over 2 & 3 which costs big-money if solicitors are involved.

Nonetheless, people don’t have to have a court order in respect of 2 & 3 and they can actually agree what they like between us. Many couples never have arguments and have no court orders. My ex-wife and I never argued and never had a court order other than the actual divorce itself.

I have had people report that their spouse would not let them have a divorce. In which case they just need to take control and divorce the other.

Each obligation is made separately.

Incidentally, there is domestic violence and you get legal aid for domestic violence then you may be entitled to legal aid for the whole divorce

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Do you have to appear at court for a divorce or does the case just get send to the courts? We have arrangements for the children. Financial order (although nothing to claim either side) I would like in place to protect me in the future.

The majority of divorces don’t involve court hearings although the majority of financial arguments and arguments over children do

This is not going to be an argument over money, it’s unlikely there would be a hearing if it was simply a clean break with everybody keeping what they currently own.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Do I have to protect what I could potentially gain/inherit in the future? For example my dad is nearly 89 and there is his property, I have no siblings. Could my ex claim on that? Obviously it works both ways so I don't see why he would look at that but he is very devious and awkward.

You need a financial order to draw a line under the marital finances otherwise an unmarried spouse can pop out of the woodwork years after the event which is what happened here:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3634949/Victory-hippy-millionaire-s-unemployed-ex-wife-wins-500-000-share-fortune-money-decade-broke-up.html

and here

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1331925/Lottery-winner-Nigel-Page-pay-ex-wife-2m-left-10-years-ago.html

Can I help you any further with this?

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding.

Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Hello again.

If you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete for now, but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months.

I’m glad that I was able to help.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Kind regards

Stuart

Stuart J and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you so much

My pleasure