Family Law - FAQs
How long does a divorce generally take?
A divorce usually takes between 4 and 6 months to conclude. However if financial issues are not resolved during this period, you may be advised to finalise financial matters before applying for Decree Absolute.
What am I entitled to?
There is no easy answer to this. The Court will consider a checklist of criteria which includes your respective incomes, earning and borrowing capacity, housing needs, number of children and the value of assets. First consideration goes to providing any children of the family with a home.
I’ve built up my business from scratch. My wife says that half the business is hers.
Is this true?
Whilst the business is likely to be a matrimonial asset, it may be the case that you cannot easily sell your business, or shares in it, or if you do you will lose your income. Your wife may be compensated for any interest she has in the business from other assets.
I’m worried about the cost of legal fees. What are the options?
You can pay your legal fees on the basis of ‘time taken’, i.e. an hourly rate, or you can ask us for a fixed fee. To help with your budget, we can arrange for fees to be paid by way of monthly instalments. We also offer ‘pay as you go’ and payment at the end of your case if you are financially eligible for a divorce or litigation loan. We will talk you through our full range of payment options.
My children are half Italian. Since we separated, my wife wants to return to live in Italy with them. Can she do this?
You can obtain an emergency Court order to prevent your wife from relocating abroad until the Court makes a final decision about whether or not she can leave with your children. The Court will consider many factors which will include your existing relationship with your children and how this is likely to be affected if they move, as well as practical arrangements that your wife has put in place abroad relating to housing and schooling.
What is mediation and do I have to attend?
Mediation has been established for many years as an alternative process to the Court as an effective way of resolving disputes about children or financial issues. Before an application to the Court is made about a child or financial issue, the Protocol directs that a case should first be assessed by a mediator. This assessment is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). You cannot be compelled to mediate. Mediation is a voluntary process and both you and your ex-partner/spouse must agree to mediate.