Frequently Asked Questions
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Even though a divorce or separation may have been expected, marriage and partnerships can be strong bonds, so it’s not surprising that the effect of breaking those bonds can be devastating. You may not have expected it, meant it to happen or have been able to prevent it.
As well as dealing with the emotional impact of divorce or separation, there are also a host of practical issues to think about and decisions to make such as ‘how do we end it, and what do we do about the kids, the money and the family home?’ Read our guide on the things you need to think about first, to help you and your family through this difficult transition.
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Divorce mediation can help you work out arrangements for your children, ﬁnance and property.
You may be eligible for legal aid if you are on a low income or not working. Click here to find out more.
You can get divorced if you have been married for one year. The Divorce Dissolution and Separation Act April 2022 introduces “no-fault” divorce which means the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. You will need to provide a statement to that effect.
Most applications for divorce will now be made online although in some circumstances there is still the ability to file a paper application. Click here to access the divorce application forms.
When you do get a divorce the court will be able to make orders about ﬁnancial and property matters too if one or other or both of you makes an application. Usually, you do not need to appear in court personally to get a divorce.
If you have children you will need to put in place arrangements for the children now you are no longer married and you can choose how to make arrangements for looking after your children if you separate from your partner.
You and your ex-partner can usually avoid going to court hearings if you agree on:
- where the children will live
- how much time they’ll spend with each parent
- how you’ll financially support your children
You can agree on child maintenance at the same time or separately.
Get help agreeing
Mediation provides the best forum for discussing how to make future arrangements now you have divorced. We understand it can be difficult to have a constructive discussion when emotions are raw. Our trained mediators will help you turn your arguments into agreements. You can make a parenting plan in mediation.
The court expects parents to make their own arrangements for the continuing care of their children after divorce or separation but will intervene and change your proposed agreement if after hearing the evidence it decides the arrangements you are proposing compromise the children’s health and welfare.
You will also have to make arrangements for separating your finances. It is usually more straightforward to divide money and property before you apply for the final legal document to end the relationship called Final Order.
In mediation, we can help you gather together all of the financial information you need to be able to negotiate a settlement that can then be used to form a financial consent order.
You will need to decide how you share your assets, debts and liabilities from your marriage and you will need to produce evidence and information to support your agreed proposals. It can be a very daunting and unfamiliar task. The court form, Form E, is very long but the mediator will be able to work with you both to achieve full financial disclosure that you can then use to obtain your court order.
If you and your ex-partner cannot agree how to divide your finances you can ask a court to make a financial order (also known as the ‘contested’ route or an ‘ancillary relief order’).. This means the court will decide how assets will be split. Getting the court to decide usually takes longer and is more expensive than if you and your ex-partner can agree.
We offer family mediation without leaving your home. Video conferencing services are available.