Divorce Solicitors in Bristol
As challenging as divorce might seem the whole process is a relatively straightforward one. What tends to complicate proceedings are unresolved, emotionally charged or contentious issues like child custody arrangements and the distribution of property and financial assets.
While each divorce case will be different, and speaking to our Divorce Solicitors in Bristol could help ensure your rights are properly represented with the least amount of stress, here is a brief look at the divorce process.
Once you have decided to petition the court for a divorce, your solicitor will usually write to your spouse to inform them of your intentions and advise them to seek independent legal advice. While not essentially part of the formal divorce procedure, this is good practice, and can help to make the whole process run more smoothly.
The next thing that your Divorce Solicitor should do is to file a Divorce Petition with the court. This outlines why you want a divorce and what you ‘re requesting from your spouse in the way of financial support for you and your children.
Statement of Arrangements
If there are any children under 16 involved in the marriage, a Statement of Arrangements will also need to be completed and submitted with the Divorce Petition. This outlines a number of aspects, including where they are going to live, where they will be educated, and what sort of visitation arrangement you are proposing.
Acknowledgement of Service
Copies of the Divorce Petition and Statement of Arrangements are then sent to your spouse (known as the Respondent) along with a separate form called the Acknowledgement of Service, which they need to sign and send back to the court. As well as acknowledging that your partner has received all the necessary paperwork, the Acknowledgment of Service also tells the court whether or not your spouse will contest the divorce.
If there is a dispute over any aspect of the divorce, including the divorce itself, then your spouse will need to fill out and return a form called an Answer. If your divorce is contested, our Divorce Solicitors in Bristol will be able to advise you of your options and the best way to proceed.
Once your spouse has returned the Acknowledgement of Service form to the court, if they don’t intend to dispute the divorce, you will then be sent a copy. Then you will be required to sign an Affidavit which states that the information in the Divorce Petition is true and accurate, after which, both the Affidavit and the Acknowledgement of Service need to be sent back to the court.
The Decree Nisi is the first of the two decrees that are part of the divorce process. It signifies that the court has received all the paperwork and is legally satisfied that your divorce should go ahead. It is an acknowledgement that the correct process has been followed and that you should be divorced.
Six weeks after the Decree Nisi you can apply to the court for a Decree Absolute. It is the Decree Absolute which officially ends your marriage. All the terms of your divorce should be finalized before this point, including the distribution of assets and custody and visitation arrangements. If these still aren’t agreed then your solicitor will advise you whether further court action might be necessary before you apply for the Decree Absolute.
The granting of the Decree Absolute signals the official end to your marriage.
If you are thinking about getting divorced, get in touch with our Divorce Solicitors in Bristol. With a range of services to suit all budgets, we ‘ll make sure you get the advice you need.