All too often our impression is that solicitors are not interested in the parties seeking a divorce and that it’s just another caseload. A law firm specialising in family law will provide the proper pre-proceedings care and attention before taking on a divorce case. In consultation with divorce solicitors in Weybridge and before moving to the first steps in the divorce process, you will be encouraged to explore how and if your marriage can be saved. It may be recommended that the first stage should be to seek counselling either together or alone. Only after exhausting these avenues will a truly genuine family orientated law firm decide to consider submitting an action for divorce.
Find the right solicitor to help you
Divorces are not identical, in the same way that we are all different, so too are divorces personal to ourselves. It is therefore essential that when it comes to family law it is best to consult with a specialist. Divorce is an emotionally draining experience and requires a solid and trusting understanding between client and solicitor. The first consultation is normally a fact finding and relationship building exercise. In discussion divorce solicitors will ask questions to gain an understanding of the client’s circumstances and emotional state of mind. They will need to know about separation details; if it has already occurred and if so, when it occurred. They will want to know about children and what the proposed arrangements might be for their care. It is during this stage that an assessment can be made of how well the client/solicitor relationship is building. This is the time to decide if the solicitor should be engaged or whether to seek out an alternative, this is the client’s decision.
Getting the correct advice
Once a decision has been made to proceed with divorce, a good family law firm will guide you through the options available and the process to follow for each option. Getting to the desired result is not a straightforward head-to-court experience. Divorce solicitors will discuss which of the alternatives should be chosen be it litigation, mediation, arbitration, negotiation or collaboration. The level of information provided will aid the solicitor in guiding and providing the best advice.
Filing for divorceOnce a decision has been made that there is no alternative but to proceed with divorce, there is a very set procedure that is followed in England and Wales. A form D8 is completed by the petitioner which is sent to the respondent. The solicitor will prepare all the paperwork and handle the administration on behalf of the client. Once the court has approved the application a copy is sent to the respondent and they need to reply within seven days. If there is no submission to defend, the solicitor will apply for a ‘decree nisi’ which is the interim divorce decree acknowledging that the divorce can proceed. Once this stage has been reached it is normal for the divorce to be eventually granted uncontested. After six weeks the ‘decree absolute’ can be granted and the marriage is then dissolved.