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Divorce & Relationship Breakdown

Divorce

Choose James Murray Divorce Solicitors based in Liverpool to effectively iron out all the details and ensure your case has the most successful outcome possible

We understand that the breakdown of a relationship is a very difficult time – arrangements for the children, property and finances, plus getting to grips with the court process and all that is involved in divorce proceedings can be extremely stressful. For this reason, James Murray Family Solicitors based in Liverpool will do everything possible to make things easier for you, by providing bespoke expertise and clear advice at all times about the entire process.

Divorce – How it works

One party to the relationship will lodge the Divorce Petition and thereby become the ‘Petitioner’. The other party responds and becomes the ‘Respondent’.

The Petition

This is the first stage of documentation submitted to the court and it can only be submitted after you have been married for 12 months.
For the proposed divorce, you will need to give a statement showing that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is the only ground for divorce.

This statement must support at least one of the following facts:
• Unreasonable Behaviour
• Desertion
• Adultery
• 2 Years Separation (with the other party’s consent)
• 5 Years Separation (without the other party’s consent)

Tip: In the case of Unreasonable Behaviour, there is no hard and fast definition of what is ‘unreasonable’, it is normally behaviour that the other party can understandably consider unreasonable.

If this term is listed in a petition laid against you it can be very upsetting, however our Liverpool divorce solicitors will advise you that the Petitioner normally just wishes the situation to look as bad as possible in order to ensure the Court grants the divorce.

Main Stages of Proceedings

If the Court is satisfied that the evidence forwarded in the Petition shows the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and that the evidence put is reasonable and clearly made out, the judge will then grant a Decree Nisi.
Six weeks after this, if you are still sure that you want a divorce, you can then apply for the Decree Nisi to be made a Decree Absolute.
Should there be unresolved finances of the marriage, our Liverpool family solicitors advise you not to apply for the Decree Absolute until such time as they are fully resolved, since this could potentially affect any arguments you may make regarding your entitlement to some of the marriage assets.

Property of the Marriage

This aspect covers any assets or debts accrued during the marriage, including the home, savings, credit cards, loans and pensions.

The Family Home

This is often the largest asset of value held by the family. After evaluating whether there is any equity in the home, decisions then have to be made regarding how to divide the value of the property and whether it needs to be sold. Our Liverpool divorce solicitors have the expertise to advise you on how best to protect your interests and help you reach agreement on all property aspects.

Tip: If you cannot sustain the payments for your family home after your partner has moved out, we can consider making an application to the court for Maintenance Pending Suit, which means an order for your partner to pay you a monthly sum until the divorce is finalised.

Debts

Debts are very difficult to deal with if there are no assets of the marriage, as the Court is unable to interfere with contractual obligations between you and a creditor.

If there is equity in a home after sale or there are savings, the Court could order that debts of the marriage are paid prior to the division of the martial assets.

Pensions

If only one of you in the marriage has a pension which was contributed to as a couple to provide for your combined future, the Court could potentially issue a Pension Sharing order. This would allow the non-pension holder to receive a share of the pension.

Mediation

Mediation is often the way forward when both parties are willing to enter into a discussion about how they can resolve the breakdown of their marriage. A referral can be made to a professionally trained mediator, who will attempt to resolve key issues such as matrimonial finances and child arrangements so that an agreement is reached which all parties are comfortable with.

Not married?

Our Liverpool family solicitors also have the experience to advise on cohabiting or same-sex relationships. Apart from the Court process, the decisions that have to be made are very similar to a divorce. Questions of legal ownership and rights are slightly different however, but we specialise in providing tailored expertise to suit individual circumstances.

Taking your case to Court

If you and your ex-partner are unable to agree on the terms of a financial settlement, it may be necessary to go to court to bring matters to a resolution. Our Liverpool divorce solicitors have the skill and experience to bring the matter to a conclusion as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Rest assured that with our legal team on the case, you’ll have someone to turn to at every stage for answers to your questions and to streamline the issues you may wish to raise for the court’s consideration.

To get the ball rolling, simply Contact the dedicated team of James Murray Family Solicitors based in our Bootle or Liverpool offices.

Funding Options

Help with your legal fees is now only available for divorce proceedings if there has been domestic violence in the marriage and you are able to meet a two stage test.

There is firstly a means test which assesses your financial means depending on a number of different factors, such as your income, capital and number of dependents.

There is also an added requirement that domestic violence should have been present in the relationship and this must be shown using one of a number of different forms of evidence. These include a criminal conviction on the part of your partner, or evidence from your doctor that domestic violence has taken place.

A full list of potential forms of evidence can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/3098/regulation/33/made