Jen Law’s three top tips for for starting the divorce process
Tip 1) Attempt mediation
Before starting the divorce process in court, you are required to show that mediation has been attempted and that a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) certificate has been issued. It is advisable to initiate this process as early as possible to avoid delays.
In some instances, attempting mediation will not be possible (for instance where the parties are unable to have direct contact with each other due to welfare concerns) in which case they may be exempt from attending mediation. However, if the parties are amicable and mediation is possible, it can be an effective tool for encouraging communication and facilitating a more co-operative approach to divorce proceedings.
Tip 2) Apply for divorce yourself online
The divorce process itself can be conducted online, via the government website, and has been designed to be a straightforward, self-guided process – much like filling out an application for a passport or filing a tax return. A Court fee, which currently stands at £593.00 (June 2023) is required.
While it is not necessary for a solicitor to complete this application on your behalf, some clients prefer to use a solicitor to do this and to support them through the process. Other clients may be happy starting the divorce process themselves and then choose to engage our services at a later stage when legal issues such as the finances need to be dealt with. Whichever option is best for you, our experienced family team can help you at every step of the way.
Tip 3) Gather together all the documents relating to your assets
If you are looking to completely sever financial ties with your partner during the divorce, you will be required to disclose financial information to each other and ultimately the court. You should therefore gather together all relevant documents relating to your assets and your financial circumstances during the preliminary stages of the divorce process, as this will speed things up further down the line.
The documents you’ll need will vary according to the specific circumstances of the relationship and the type of assets involved. If you have a pension, you should obtain the estimated value, known as a CETV. Valuations of property you own or valuable personal belongings (such as a car or jewellery), should also be obtained.
How we can help
If you require help from our experienced lawyers when starting the divorce process then call us on 0333 888 0404 or send an email to [email protected].