“I want a divorce”. Life changing words not to be uttered lightly! However, if that time comes, there are various points to consider before going ahead
Divorce is not easy but it can be negotiated without too many storms with the right help. Choose your solicitor carefully, picking one who sticks to the Resolution Code of Practice as they will be committed to helping YOU – taking into account your personal circumstances and the issues particularly relevant to you.
Before you see your solicitor, there are steps you can take yourself. A divorce without children involved is usually more straight forward, but if there are children then their welfare must be the first priority. They need a home – although not necessarily the one in which they are currently living. If financially possible, their home should be of a similar standard and changes for them should be kept to a minimum. Dividing a joint income to achieve this can prove challenging. Both of you will hopefully want to keep in touch with the children and have them to stay, so effectively both of you will need adequate accommodation for this.
Looking at the overall finances, and particularly if there are no children, then a starting point would be an equal division of all the assets, particularly if yours is a reasonably long marriage. Various factors can indicate a variation in this and your solicitor will be able to advise on how much any of these might be applicable. Before you see your solicitor, look at the financial situation. List the assets as you know them to include property, bank accounts, savings and investments. At what point they were acquired and where they came from may be relevant, so look at this too.
Pensions may well be one of the largest assets of the marriage and details of these will be required including the value of the pension fund. Current law does allow for division of pensions accumulated during the marriage and this can be dealt with in various ways.
So, the message is that there is new territory to negotiate, but with the right help you are not entering a minefield!