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6 frequent divorce questions answered


If you have lots of divorce questions, it can be difficult to find straightforward answers. Family law is a complex area of law and can be overwhelming if you try to navigate it on your own. When a couple decides to part ways there are often so many questions that aren’t always that straightforward to answer.

In this blog, Burnett Barker Family Law Solicitor, Hannah Lester considers some of the most obvious and less obvious divorce questions people have when starting the process.

Can mediation resolve child arrangements?

In many cases, mediation is an excellent option for agreeing child arrangements. Mediation can be less confrontational. Therefore we always advise trying to sit down together and with the help of someone independent, to reach an agreement.

It’s important to remember though, that agreements reached at mediation are not legally binding. Mediation can be a useful way to narrow down issues and discuss practicalities. But if you’re worried that the other parent will not keep to the plan, a more formal route may be necessary.

What happens if my partner refuses a divorce?

This is one of the most frequently asked divorce questions. There are five different facts that can be used to obtain a divorce and only two of those require the other person’s consent. As long as you meet the criteria for the other reasons, it’s not necessary for both parties to be in agreement about divorcing.

That’s not to say that your partner cannot defend the divorce in Court. But this is rare. Usually, if one person believes that the marriage has broken down, a divorce can be obtained.

To help put your mind at rest, an initial consultation with us will let you know what your options are.

Call to book a consultation

Who pays for the mortgage? Who pays the legal fees?

Everybody’s situation is different and there are no black and white rules. Usually, the person who earns more is responsible for more of the outgoings of the family home. The usual arrangements tend to continue until a financial settlement is reached.

Each party is responsible for their own legal fees in negotiating finances. The cost of the divorce can be shared equally. The person requesting the divorce can ask their spouse to cover or share.

The earlier you speak to a family law solicitor, the better. We’ll provide you with advice based on your individual situation.

What happens if I inherit money whilst separated?

The chances of this happening may be slim, but it’s a question that has become even more important in recent months.

The answer depends on the financial situation of you as a couple and the way the inheritance is treated. The general rule is that inheritance is non-matrimonial property and will not automatically be included.

However, this is not always the case and inheritance can be included if it is necessary to meet the parties needs.

Should I leave the marital home before finances are settled?

We completely understand that remaining in the same home once the relationship has broken down can be very difficult.

However, in some cases, and if you can, we advise remaining in the marital home until the finances are settled. There are a couple of reasons for this. It can take quite a while to sell a matrimonial home. The additional outgoing and indefinite costs of renting a property in the meantime can be quite expensive.

It’s often not possible to accept offers on the marital home until you know how the proceeds will be divided as the conveyancing solicitors cannot hold the funds indefinitely. It will also be difficult to make offers on a purchase without a clear idea of what you will be receiving in the settlement.

Can I move away with my children after divorce?

If the other parent consents, then it is possible to move with the children without any issues. If the other parent does not consent, then an application to the Court may be required. The Court will decide whether the move will be in the children’s best interests.

Many different factors are considered when assessing what is in the children’s best interests. For example, whether the children are old enough to express their own views and whether the distance means a relationship with the parent left-behind can be easily maintained.

It can get quite complicated. This is why it is a good idea to instruct a family law solicitor, who will advise you on your options and help to reach a solution that works for your family.

Of course, these are just six divorce questions people have – there are many more than this. For a fixed fee, our family law consultation will provide some clarity on the questions bothering you the most and give you practical advice on what steps you could take.

Discover your options for a fixed fee

If you want to know where you stand and what your options are, we offer a one-to-one family law consultation for a fixed fee of £149. Most clients discover something they were unaware of in this consultation, which reaffirms how important it is to find out what your options are.

Simply call Burnett Barker Solicitors on 01284 701131. You can also send us a message, or pop in and see us at 20 Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds – we have free parking on site!