The legal formalities of getting a divorce are relatively straightforward. What is less straightforward is sorting out the practical issues associated with a divorce such as where each person will live, and who gets what. The Penman Sedgwick Solicitors Family Law team specialises in dealing with both simple and complex financial disputes between parties. It will be necessary for both parties to provide full and frank financial disclosure. We will then attempt to negotiate a settlement without the need to issue Court proceedings. Where an agreement is reached without issuing Court proceedings it is dealt with in a Consent Order which is sent to the Court for the Judge’s approval.
However, if agreement cannot be reached we can consider mediation or issue Court proceedings on your behalf and then the Court timetable will begin. If we do issue court proceedings this will lead to the exchange of various documents and there will be a first directions appointment at court. After that there will be a financial dispute resolution hearing followed by a final hearing if the matter has still not settled. The system is designed so as to encourage the parties to settle at every stage however we are experienced in taking matters all the way to fully contested final hearings.
The court’s duty in exercising its powers are set out in S25(1) Matrimonial Causes Act which states that it shall “… have regard to all the circumstances of the case, first consideration being given to the welfare while a minor of any child of the family who has not attained the age of eighteen.”
The Act also sets out eight factors (the S25(2) factors) which the court should have regard to, namely;
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the parties
- The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of the parties
- The standard of living enjoyed before the breakdown of the marriage
- The age of each party and the duration of the marriage
- Any physical or mental disability of either party
- The contribution of either party, including looking after the home and caring for the family
- The conduct of the parties if it would be inequitable to disregard it
- The value to either party of any benefit that party will lose the chance to acquire.
If you need advice on a legal matter please contact us, and we will respond as soon as possible, or call us on 01923 225212.