Divorce – A beginner’s guide (the 6 most common questions answered)

Coming to terms with the reality that you are getting divorced is tough and those early days often feel like being on a rollercoaster. Getting through each day can be a challenge, never mind deciding what practical steps you need to take. We’ve simplified the process for you by setting out the answers to 6 of the most common questions people have when they are first faced with the prospect of divorce.

How long will it take?

The average time from  start to finish is around a year. But some take less time than this, and others take longer.  You may have heard the term “quickie divorce” but this is actually a myth. All divorces have to go through the same set stages so there are no shortcuts. We find that the time taken can be minimised if you take specialist family law advice at an early stage.

How much will it cost?

This is an important question.  Your solicitor will be able to give you a clearer idea of this during your first meeting because every case is different, so we will need to understand what is likely to be involved in your case. We always take care to make sure any money you invest in legal fees with us is well spent to achieve the best outcome for you. Be cautious about online legal services because the amount you are quoted may not take into account unforeseen complications, meaning you could actually end up paying more.

Should I listen to advice from friends?

No! Well-meaning friends are always full of tips, particularly in the early days, but everyone’s circumstances are different.  Their own experiences are unlikely to apply to your situation and you can end up feeling more confused than ever. It is a vital to get independent specialist family law advice sooner rather than later, so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. Your friends can be there for you in lots of other ways and their emotional support and solidarity will be invaluable in the months ahead. Remember that they’ve also only got divorced once, yet we’ve guided thousands of clients through the minefield.

How do I choose a solicitor?

Everyone has low moments and difficult decisions to make during a divorce so you will need a solicitor who is on your side, who you feel you can trust and confide in. We are a niche law firm specialising in family law; this means all we do is family law.  Our team of friendly, approachable solicitors are highly experienced and understand what you are going through.

How quickly do I need to act?

The sooner you can take specialist family law advice, the better.  Your solicitor will help you understand what decisions are needed, the steps you need to take and how to protect your position by, for example, making sure your spouse doesn’t dispose of or hide assets. Taking the wrong steps early on can negatively impact the outcome of your divorce so it is very important to have the right team on your side.

How can I protect my children?

For most people, their immediate concerns are how they tell the children and whether they will still be able to see them as much as they would like to. When it comes to breaking the news, ideally this should be done together. It will be much easier for them to understand and accept the situation if you can both reassure them that you will still be their parents and love them, no matter what. However angry and hurt you feel towards your partner, try not to share those feelings with your children. You should always put their interests first and being mindful of this can help you avoid battles over who sees them and when. Ideally, you and your ex will want to maintain a relationship as parents and this is by far the best way to protect your children from the impact of your divorce.

To speak to one of our friendly solicitors for a confidential chat give us a call today on 01423 594680.

Emma Doughty is family lawyer who provides straightforward, easy to understand advice.  She is passionate about helping people and using her expertise to achieve the best outcome possible.  She has been described by her clients as “tremendous and incredibly supportive”.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon.  If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk.