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Choosing to file for divorce is a huge decision and one that should not be made lightly. This process will end your marriage officially and can only be completed (in England) after you have been married for one year. When making this life-changing decision, there are several ways you should prepare yourself for the process you are about to begin.
One way in which you could prepare is to seek the advice and guidance of a family law solicitor. Carole Nettleton who is a family law solicitor based in Cheshire, has offered her top tips for preparing yourself to file for divorce.
Be sure you are making the right decision
Before making this big step in your life, you should reach the point of divorce after all other avenues have been explored. Since this is such a big process that can become both costly and stressful for those involved, speaking with your partner to discuss your relationship issues, if this is possible, is important. Consider relationship counselling, where you can have an open conversation about your relationship and its problems with the help of a counsellor or therapist who can offer neutral advice. This may work to prevent reaching the divorce process and maintaining your relationship.
If you are in a situation where divorce becomes the only option, you should prepare yourself for the process by talking with your friends and family to stay calm and maintain a rational mind and thoughts. If your partner has been unfaithful, the situation can become emotional, and anger fuelled. The best way to approach this legal process is to maintain your anger and emotion as best as possible to achieve an end result that is positive both for yourself and for any children involved.
The difference between Divorce and No-Fault Divorce is that in the latter, partners do not have to prove any wrongdoing on one another’s part. Instead, it can be stated that after trying a period of separation and perhaps counseling, neither party is at fault for the relationship breaking down.
Consider the costs
Once you are sure you are ready to file for divorce, the next best step to take is to do your research. You will need to understand the costs involved with filing for divorce and be prepared to make these payments.
If you and your partner have both decided upon getting a divorce this may be a less costly and time-consuming process. This is known as an uncontested divorce and often will only require the payment of any set court fees and solicitor fees.
If one party within the relationship does not agree to get a divorce, the process will take more time and cost more money. This is known as a contested divorce and can be much more complicated.
Payments involved with filing for divorce:
- Divorce application fee – £593
- Set court fees
- Solicitors’ fees
At the current time (November 2021), single people earning less than £1,170 a month before tax are eligible for help with their fees.
Other costs will come after, as you negotiate the split of your shared assets and any child maintenance payments.
Plan for your future after the divorce
When thinking of filing for divorce, planning for the future is important. Many people enter this legal process without consideration for how much their life may change as a result. Having to split your property, share the custody of your children, and divide your assets is likely to make an impact upon your future life. You may have to consider relocating, starting a new job, or putting on hold plans for new business ventures.
Amidst these major life changes, changing your last name back to your maiden name can be an empowering step towards starting a fresh new life. By reverting to your maiden name, you are able to shed the associations of your previous married life and embrace a renewed sense of identity and independence. Changing your last name in Illinois, for example, can be done with the help of specific companies which can guide you through the legal process, ensuring a smooth transition to your maiden name.