I am please to share this highly informative guest post courtesy of Emily Sauder . Emily is a full time mother of three and part time freelance writer who loves everything about motherhood, shopping, travelling and spending her partner’s money.
What to expect from divorce
Even the simplest divorce – parting on reasonable terms without any disagreement over the arrangement – is a sad process to go through, but the worst you can expect in this situation is that your divorce proceedings will take months to complete, depending on your available funds and what reasons you’re stating for the break-up.
At the other end of the scale – sugar-coating this would be unfair – divorce can be one of the toughest life events you’ll experience, ranking up there with moving house & death of a loved one on the stress-scale. If you’re reading this out of casual interest, I’d strongly advise you to simply not get married unless you’re absolutely certain that it’s right for you, because divorce is horrible, however smoothly it goes. If you’re already faced with it, however, now is not the time for regrets – surround yourself with strong friends & family, and research as much as you can handle in order to stay on top of what will probably be a stressful experience, no matter how eager you are to escape.
Grounds for divorce
In the UK, you can only dissolve a marriage without waiting if your partner has been unfaithful, or if you’re accusing them of what’s called “unreasonable behaviour”, which can range from violence or addiction (drinking or gambling, for example) to milder examples like having no shared interests or their spending too much time at work. Alternatively, you can divorce
– if your spouse has deserted you for a minimum of two years
– if you’ve been separated for two years and you both agree to a divorce
– you’ve been separated for five years (no agreement necessary)
Cost of divorce
It used to be possible to do your own divorce in the UK, only paying the court costs. However, recent legislation changes have made this much harder & more expensive, especially if you get anything wrong, which often happens because the court staff can’t or won’t tell you how to do it properly. It’s less stressful to hire someone else to do it for you, if at all possible. This can range from around £500 via online divorce agencies, which are legitimate but can take up to a year to finalise, to £1000s if you pay a local lawyer. The latter will happen faster, but bear in mind that the court must still wait 6 weeks, after the application to divorce has been accepted, to finalise your divorce – this legality allows people to contest the proceedings if necessary.
Helping your kids understand
If you have children, it’s usually best to be as honest as possible with them, even if that means introducing them to some of the sadder themes of adult life, like growing apart when you get together very young, or marrying because you think you have to, instead of because you want to.
Everybody makes mistakes – there’s no shame in it, providing you work towards not repeating them. Make certain, too, that your kids know it’s not their fault, & that your love for them is unchanged – although try not to overcompensate & spoil them with gifts or apologies, because this can lead to calculated manipulation in some kids who feel particularly hard done-by. This may sound harsh – of course, your divorce will have an emotional impact on your children – but the more you can keep “normal”, the better.
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