Steps to a stress free divorce

Divorce cases can seriously tug at the heartstrings of family solicitors but it can also be a very stress full process for all parties involved including the solicitor.

Taking the step to deciding on filing for a divorce will never come easy and can often be put off due to the of fear of how long the process can take and how much additional stress it can cause on the family.

The divorce process is actually not that difficult and can be made simpler with both parties staying calm and being fair throughout the separation.

Agreement from the start

Establishing who the role of the ‘Petitioner’ is going to be is the first step along with the alternative party being given the title of ‘Respondent.’

After the roles have been decided which will normally come quite naturally, it is wise to invest some time into looking for expert advice from some of the top divorce solicitors in London.

The Basics

The petitioner at the point of filing for the divorce application chooses the grounds of the divorce.

The most common grounds for divorce are often irreconcilable difference or for unreasonable behaviour.

Regardless of the grounds for divorce, proof and any necessary evidence is required from both the petitioner and the respondent. This is where the help of a divorce solicitor can help establish a valid reason for divorce.

Financial Matters

Financial matters can cause the biggest issues during divorce, however if the financial matters such as the separation of property can be decided with minimum fuss, the divorce flows through the process a lot easier.

The Process

The arrangements for children need to be set out in a statement known as the “Petition for Divorce” which is sent to the court

The court then processes the statement, the court will then send them onto the Respondent where it requires this party member to acknowledge and agree to the contents, known as “Acknowledgement of Service.” This then has to be sent on to the Petitioner who verifies the details of the Respondent and sends both the application and the affidavit back to court where the case will be considered by a district judge. If the judge agrees to the divorce, neither party is required to be present in court.

The Petitioner has to wait around six weeks before applying for the Decree Nisi, failure to do so means that the Respondent can take control and complete the divorce process.

This is the final step to divorce, however if the Respondent has to take control then the situation will become a lot more complicated then necessary.

The Decree Absolute is a vital legal document and needs to be kept for future reference or the possibility of marriage should either party wish to remarry after the divorce.

For more information on the divorce process, seek the help of family solicitors in London or contact your local solicitors for a face-to-face appointment.

Financial Settlements on Divorce

Family lawyers rejoiced recently as a landmark decision from the Supreme Court gave justification to piece the corporate veil in relation to financial settlements on divorce.

The case arised after a divorce case between oil trader and his wife took place after a 20-year marriage ended. The assets of the marriage totaled a huge £37.5 million and the wife was rewarded almost half at £17.5 million at the High Court in 2011. The husband in the case, a successful business owner, was ordered to transfer a number of properties from his business over to his ex-wife as part of the divorce settlement. However the properties belonged to his companies and were not his outright therefore refused to transfer them and appealed against the Order.

The appeal focused on whether the Court had the power to transfer 7 of the properties over to the wife with the argument that they belonged to his companies and did not in fact belong to him. The High Court Judge overturned on the basis of the Court appeal after agreeing that the properties did belong to the companies and not to the husband, even though the husband owned almost 100% of the business of which the properties belonged to.

The Court of Appeal went further to assess whether the treating of assets of companies owned by one party to a marriage should be available for distribution between the parties during a divorce settlement.

One judge said,  “why should family justice be regarded as different from any other sort of justice…”

Family Lawyers across the country such as leading Canterbury solicitors Whitehead Monckton and EMD family solicitors in Kent have eagerly anticipated the Supreme Courts decision and in a complete U-turn, it came to light that the 7 properties in question were bought in the companies name but were in fact purchased using the husband’s personal money. Therefore orders could be made against them in Family Court. This Landmark decision will be a huge consolation to future separating spouses who struggle to obtain fair financial agreements during a divorce settlement when the majority of the assets are owned within company structures.


Whitehead Monckton is one of the leading law firms in Kent can offer professional guidance and advice on all divorce and separation matters and provide expert divorce solicitors in Canterbury with a wealth of financial experience behind them. Visit the Whitehead Monckton website to find out more about their expertise or visit them in one of their three locations in Kent: Canterbury, Maidstone and Tenterden.


(Please note that the case discussed is not a Whitehead Monckton or EMD Law case.)