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How to Get a Divorce

Punam Denley

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Expert guide by a London divorce lawyer on how to start a divorce, plus step-by-step guide to the divorce process.

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Valid in England, Wales
Price: £12.99
Page Length: 242
File Type: PDF
File Size: 2 MB

Thinking about getting divorced and don't know where to start? Or are you being divorced and need guidance on how to deal with the divorce process?

Then our guide How to Get a Divorce can help.

Author Punam Denley uses her experience as a London divorce lawyer to guide you completely through the process, with expert hints and tips to help you along the way.

She answers all the questions you may have regarding divorce and provides expert advice on how to deal with this painful time, based on the real-life divorce cases she has handled.

How to Get a Divorce explains the legal and financial issues involved in divorce, and takes you step-by-step from the divorce petition to the final divorce decree, as well as providing guidance on the practicalities of separation.

Here is an outline of what Punam expertly discusses in How to Get a Divorce, chapter by chapter:

Chapter 1: Important matters you should consider when faced with divorce

  • The questions that clients ask during their initial conversation or meeting with a divorce lawyer
  • Should you divorce?
  • Practical matters about money and where to live
  • Maintenance 
  • How to resolve a dispute with your partner

Chapter 2: Separation

  • The different types of separation
  • How the court views financial agreements that you reach while you are separated

Chapter 3: Getting legal advice

  • Do you really need a solicitor to get divorced and resolve your differences?
  • How to find a solicitor
  • What to expect from a solicitor
  • How to pay for a solicitor's services
  • Complaints if you are unhappy about the way your case has been handled

Chapter 4: How courts work and who's who

  • When might you make an application to court
  • How you go about applying to the court 
  • Who deals with the application?
  • The applications that you may need to make: divorce, financial and child-related
  • Which court you need to be in 
  • Who will listen to your case
  • Top tips on how to make the best of the court situation

There are different courts, even different kinds of lawyers and certainly several types of judge that you may encounter on the way. It can be a very confusing situation and hopefully this chapter will be a good guide through the maze.

Chapter 5: The divorce process

  • What you have to put in a divorce petition
  • How to get your divorce
  • Grounds for divorce
  • Divorce fees
  • Divorce timetable and procedure
  • Undefended
  • Defended and cross decrees
  • International aspects of divorce
  • Annulling your marriage

Chapter 6: The financial split

  • How you can separate your finances from those of your spouse by agreement or by court order
  • The orders that the court can make and what they are, including orders relating to your home, income and pension
  • What the court takes into account when making a decision on your case
  • Step-by-step guide to the court process
  • How you might go about changing the order that is made

Chapter 7: Children

  • Guide to the court procedure
  • Gentler ways of resolving your dispute over your children
  • What sort of orders the courts can make
  • New laws about enforcing an order against a non-compliant party
  • How to apply for financial orders for children 

Chapter 8:  Domestic abuse

  • What to do if you are a victim
  • Legal remedies available
  • The court procedure

Example forms

As well as expertly guiding you through the process from start to finish, the guide includes completed examples of the following divorce forms:

  • The divorce petition 
  • Statement of arrangements for children
  • Form A – Notice of intention to proceed with an application for ancillary relief
  • Form E– Financial statement
  • Statement of issues
  • Form C100
  • Notice of severance

How to Get a Divorce can help you to avoid the trauma, heartache and expense of divorce. 

Plus it aims to help you help yourself. By being aware in advance of the problems you may encounter in a divorce and the issues that need resolution, you can prepare to deal with them in an atmosphere of negotiated agreement rather than arbitrary and hurtful dispute.

An essential guide to divorce, separation and a practical guide to arranging a divorce.

How to Get a Divorce Contents

1. Immediate concerns and important matters to consider 

  • Should we separate or get divorced? 
  • Practical matters when splitting up: money and accommodation 
  • Keeping records and sorting out your paperwork 
  • Ways to sort out your divorce 
  • Keeping the lines of communication open: counselling, mediation, collaborative law and instructing a legal professional 

2. Separation

  • Judicial separation 
  • Separation during marriage 
  • Should we draw up a separation agreement?

3. Getting legal advice

  • Pros and cons of advice-free divorce 
  • Do I need a solicitor...? 
  • Finding a solicitor 
  • What can I expect from my lawyer? 
  • Professional conduct rules 
  • How do I know my solicitor’s right for me? 
  • How do I pay my legal costs? 
  • How does a firm of solicitors charge for its work? 
  • How much is it going to cost me? 
  • How shall I prepare for the first meeting? 
  • Changing your solicitor 
  • Proving your identity 
  • Challenging a legal bill 
  • Complaints about solicitors and barristers 

4. How courts work and who’s who

  • Where will my case be heard? 
  • Who will deal with my case? 
  • Who will represent me in court? 
  • Filing of evidence, including documents 
  • Service of documents and evidence 
  • Issuing court documents and court hearings 
  • Do I need to be represented in court? 
  • When will I get to have my say? 
  • Who speaks when? 
  • How long does it take until it’s over? 
  • How does the court deal with bad behaviour?
  • When does the court make costs orders? 
  • Can I bring someone into court with me? 
  • Are the media or public allowed in court? 
  • Do I need to see my ex in court? 
  • What is it like at court? 

5. Divorce process 

  • Divorce starting points 
  • Divorce grounds 
  • Divorce costs 
  • Undefended divorces 
  • Defended divorces/cross decrees 
  • International aspects of divorce 
  • Annulling your marriage 

6. The financial process 

  • Divorcing couples: dos and don’ts 
  • Reaching a financial deal without court intervention 
  • Statement of Information
  • Full and frank disclosure 
  • Matrimonial Home Rights 
  • Severing a joint tenancy 
  • Property or money in other countries 
  • How does a court reach a decision on our case? 
  • The ‘clean break’
  • Does the court always divide the assets equally? 
  • Pensions 
  • Freezing orders 
  • Applying to court: Court timetable and procedure, and costs 
  • Tactics and manoeuvring in financial proceedings 
  • Consequences of going to court 
  • After the order is made – enforcing the order 
  • Wills and intestacy 
  • Cohabiting couples – the financial split 
  • Financial issues for unmarried couples 
  • Am I liable for the debts run up by my partner? 
  • Applying to court 
  • What does the judge consider when reaching a decision? 
  • Consequences of going to court

7. Children 

  • Helping the children through the separation 
  • Support groups 
  • Before you issue an application 
  • The court’s jurisdiction 
  • Orders that the court has power to make 
  • Parental responsibility, contact and residence 
  • Do I need a court order for the children? 
  • How do I apply for a court order? 
  • Enforcement 
  • Variation of arrangements or orders
  • Arranging legal representation for children 
  • Care proceedings 
  • How do I get money for the children? Child support and agreements 
  • Moving to another country 

8. Domestic abuse 

  • What to do if you are a victim
  • Legal remedies available: Non-molestation order and occupation order 
  • Is public funding (legal aid) available for injunction orders? 
  • Who can apply for an injunction? 
  • Court procedure 

Postscript - Are men treated differently to women by the family courts? 

  • Do the courts give women the benefit of the doubt? 
  • Do women get high awards without proper reason? 
  • Do women always get residence of the children? 
  • CAFCASS - help or hindrance? 
  • 'Leave to remove' applications 

Appendix – example forms 

  • Divorce petition 
  • Statement of arrangements for children 
  • Form A 
  • Form E 
  • Statement of issues 
  • Form C100 
  • Notice of severance 


Useful organisations 

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