Family law

'Out of court' divorce

While many divorces do require the intervention of the divorce courts, it is perfectly possible to reach an agreement out of court. In these cases, we can help you to reach a fair and sensible agreement with your spouse, which is then made legal and binding by the courts.

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Out of court divorces still need legal expertise

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What is an 'out of court' divorce?

While you will always need the court to deal with your divorce, which includes obtaining the decree nisi and the decree absolute, you do not need to attend court for your divorce. The same applies to a divorce settlement. If you agree the terms, you can submit your consent order to the court but you do not need to attend court in person.

An 'out of court' divorce is simply one in which you and your spouse negotiate the terms between you, usually with expert legal guidance to make sure that you are both being treated fairly.

Obviously, this is easier when your circumstances make a fair division of assets easier. For example, if you have only been married for a few years, earn similar amounts of money and have no children together, it is usually possible to simply split the value of any assets when you go your separate ways.

Naturally, this becomes more difficult if one spouse feels that their financial contribution has been greater, or provision needs to be made for financial support or child arrangements.

However, as contested financial proceedings can be lengthy and expensive - for both parties – it is often better for divorcing couples to negotiate with the help of experienced divorce lawyers rather than arguing in court and leaving it to a judge to decide matters for them.

What happens if my financial arrangements goes to court?

Most arguments about financial settlement never go to court, largely because your lawyer will often advise you that starting litigation over finances or child arrangements is almost always a 'lose-lose' situation for both parties. It is almost always possible to agree terms without the need to have fully contested court proceedings.

If you have contested proceedings, this can be traumatic and costly. It can also leave a bad feeling which makes it difficult to continue talking to each other about children after everything has concluded.

So an out of court divorce is always our recommendation, except perhaps in cases where violence is an issue, or where one party is clearly trying to hide assets that should be shared.

In any case, divorce courts require that you have at least attempted to go through a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) prior to issuing formal court proceedings.

Why choose Slater and Gordon's experienced divorce lawyers?

Even in the most amicable out of court divorces, it can be hard to make sure that the divorce financial settlement is fair to both parties. It often takes a willingness to compromise on both sides, which is when the advice of experienced family lawyers is invaluable.

Call us now on 0330 041 5869 for advice and guidance, we offer a fixed fee consultation for £150, or contact us online today and we will call you.

Prices quoted on this page include VAT.

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