These days divorce is invariably a paper exercise (albeit one that involves several steps and archaic legal language and concepts).  Whilst we move toward a non fault based process for divorce the courts and all sensible solicitors advocate a non-confrontational use of the process, concentrating on achieving a divorce with as little conflict and expense as possible.

Although it is perfectly possible to separate or obtain a divorce without legal assistance there are good reasons to ensure that you do understand the process and its implications for you.   

 A quick call, early on in the process, may be all that is needed to establish if there are any particular aspects that you need to be aware of, for example:

  • If you own more than one property, the timing of your separation can affect your tax position.
  • Immediately that you are divorced you lose any rights that you had as a spouse even if you are yet to agree financial arrangements.  This can include rights under pensions and insurance policies and inheritance tax allowances for spouses.  Any Will that you have will also operate as if your former spouse had died which may greatly distort the provision that you had intended to make. 
  • If one or both of you are not English, or live abroad (or last lived together abroad), you may have a choice of country in which to get divorced.  This can significantly affect financial outcome.  You may want to be sure that you are the one who makes the decision as to which contry to proceed in.
  • The person who commences the divorce proceedings within the UK has greater control over the pace of obtaining the divorce and could choose which court would conduct hearings: this could become relevant if your partner may be awkward or the court is needed to make decisons about financial matters or matters relating to your children.
  • Getting divorced does not mean that your financial relationship is over – even if you have agreed how you will deal with your finances you will need a separate court order to prevent further financial claims.  This is a different set of proceedings from the divorce proceedings.

The above are simply examples.  It is your individual circumstances that matter and will dictate the appropriate course of action to take.


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