Ending a relationship and sharing what is valuable

In its simplest terms divorce is simply the legal dissolution of a marriage meaning that a couple are now once again two single people. This means they can remarry and no longer have any legal connection to each other as next of kin. In reality of course it carries a whole weight of emotional stress and confusion as it comes at the end of a close relationship which both parties hoped would last.

Divorce in England and Wales is based on the simple single ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However it is also necessary to cite one of five ‘facts’ to illustrate the breakdown to the court. Several of these involve extended periods of separation but all use exactly the same procedure and take roughly the same amount of time. It is supposed to be ‘no fault’ as a process reflecting the fact that a marriage is over rather than allocating blame for the breakdown taking place. It is often best to allow the quite understandable emotions to settle after a break up before starting divorce proceedings formally so that both sides can take stock of their feelings and start to look forward in life.

Although the divorce itself should be relatively simple the complications and tensions sometimes surface when there are other issues which need agreement or division such as the time spent with children or the matrimonial home. Different systems exist to try and help parties reach agreement or solutions over these issues. These can include mediation which the law recommends takes place before court proceedings if possible to try to reach an agreed settlement . Locally the Kent Family Mediation Service provide mediation for couples to reach agreement on both child and full financial issues .

Financial issues on divorce are sometimes called Ancillary Relief proceedings. In order for a couples finances to be assessed a full process of disclosure must take place in which all the details of the parties finances ,income and assets must be exchanged . Common issues are the sharing of the equity in a former matrimonial home and pension funds